49ers vs. Cardinals: Bold predictions for Monday Night Football in Mexico

James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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ESPN. 32. 42. Monday, Nov. 21. 4-6. 49ers -8. 8:15 p.m. ET. 5-4

The 49ers and Cardinals travel to Mexico for Monday Night Football in Week 11, and we’ve got some enticing bold predictions for the primetime game.

One of the ways the San Francisco 49ers elected to prepare for their Week 11 Monday Night Football matchup against the Arizona Cardinals was to move their practices to Colorado Springs, taking account of the high elevation they’ll experience at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, and to which they’ll need to get properly acclimated.

Arizona, meanwhile, isn’t going to partake in any such adjustment.

This could play in the Niners’ favor, as they might be better equipped to handle the 7,218-foot elevation for Monday night, nearly 2,000 feet higher than the highest NFL stadium, the Denver Broncos’ Empower Field at Mile High.

That’ll hopefully give San Francisco an edge, particularly on defense, which segways right into our five bold predictions for this NFC West bout on Monday night.

49ers vs. Cardinals bold prediction No. 1: Niners hold Arizona to less than 100 rush yards

Perhaps this isn’t an overly bold prediction. But, when factoring in the elevation and how it can tire out a defense, it might as well be.

The 49ers had some issues with their run defense earlier this season, but that has trended back in a positive direction the last two weeks, and coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ unit is still ranked No. 1 against the run by allowing a mere 3.4 yards per carry. In back-to-back weeks, the Niners haven’t surrendered more than 60 yards on the ground.

Arizona just parted ways with running back Eno Benjamin, which is something of a surprise and means oft-injured running back James Conner will now be the primary option with his so-so 3.8 yards-per-carry average.

Beyond that, quarterback Kyler Murray is dealing with a hamstring injury and might not play Monday night.

Even if he does, one might expect him not to be much of a rushing threat, helping ensure the Cardinals’ ground game is awfully limited despite the altitude.