49ers will beat Cardinals if they win these matchups on Monday
By Peter Panacy
49ers vs. Cardinals matchup No. 3: Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell vs. Arizona run defense
If there’s one word to describe the Cardinals defense for the bulk of the year, it has to be “inconsistent.”
Arizona has given up the third-most points in the league entering Week 11, but that number is skewed by the ugly Week 1 outing against the Kansas City Chiefs, and to a lesser extent, a three-week stretch of 30-plus points allowed per game between Weeks 7 through 9.
However, the Cardinals also have five games this season in which their opponents have scored 20 or fewer points.
Not surprisingly, Arizona’s run defense is awfully similar, having four games in which the opposition didn’t hit 100 rush yards. Yet this unit has allowed over 150 yards on the ground in two of the Cardinals’ last three games, the lone exception being a paltry Rams rushing attack last weekend.
This is provocative for the 49ers’ newfound running back tandem of Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, as they’ll look to take advantage of the altitude and wear down Arizona’s run defense on Monday night.
But the result could just as easily be the Cardinals shutting down the Niners’ rushing attack, too, considering the inconsistencies across the board.