49ers will beat Cardinals if they win these matchups on Monday
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers have a lot of edges over the Cardinals on Monday Night Football, but they still need to win these key matchups to pull off a victory in Week 11.
Even though the San Francisco 49ers are technically the road team for their Week 11 Monday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals, the fact it’s at a neutral site at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, points to both teams having to travel here.
And with an estimated 82 percent of fans in attendance pulling for the red and gold, the Niners can probably count on the home crowd, too.
That’s one advantage that’ll work in favor of head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co., but it’ll take far more than just a friendly environment for San Francisco to reverse what’s been an unsettling recent trend against its NFC West foes since Shanahan took over in 2017.
Especially with the 49ers having lost three of their last four regular-season games against the Red Birds.
For the Niners to pull off the win south of the border, they’ll want to be victorious in these five matchups on Monday night.
49ers vs. Cardinals matchup No. 5: Niners defense vs. Kyler Murray (or Colt McCoy)
There’s a bit of a caveat here, as Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray might miss his second game in a row after suffering a hamstring injury, and the status for Monday night is still very much in the air.
If Murray isn’t available, it’s likely Arizona turns to backup quarterback Colt McCoy, who upset and embarrassed San Francisco back in Week 9 a year ago in a game where Murray was also unavailable.
The 49ers don’t want a repeat of that strong outing from McCoy, should he end up starting.
However, Murray’s rushing prowess (even if injured) and ability to scramble is going to be magnified by the fact Estadio Azteca is nearly 2,000 feet higher in elevation than the highest NFL stadium in the United States, the Denver Broncos’ Empower Field at Mile High.
Needless to say, a healthy Murray could easily tire out the Niners’ pass-rushers, while forcing those in the secondary to get quickly winded trying to keep pace with the quarterback’s receiving targets.