Monday Night Football is here! And the International Series is alive and well, too, as we prepare for a matchup in Mexico City. The San Francisco 49ers (5-4) face off against the Arizona Cardinals (4-6) in a fun divisional matchup to close out NFL Week 11. San Francisco is favored by 10 points, per DraftKings Sportsbook, and there are several reasons why.
The Cardinals have to be the most disappointing team in the league this season when comparing expectations to reality. Last year, they opened the season with a 10-2 record before falling apart at the end of the season and eventually losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs. This year, their season has started the way it ended: quarterback Kyler Murray looks lost more often than not, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury appears to be in over his head. Injuries always play a big part in every team’s season, but you’d still expect better than a 4-6 start when you just paid Murray more money per year than Patrick Mahomes earns with the Kansas City Chiefs. Colt McCoy will fill in this week with Murra out due to injury. But it’s clear that even with Murray not playing well, he’s still the better option than McCoy.
The 49ers are looking to dominate the second half of the season and make it back to the NFC Championship Game. They traded for running back Christian McCaffrey with the intention of masking any shortcomings quarterback Jimmy Garappolo may have. A Kyle Shanahan offense featuring McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel will be tough to defend, regardless of who’s playing quarterback. Outside of star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals just don’t have the same firepower on offense as the 49ers. Running back James Conner has played well when healthy, but the team let go of Eno Benjamin without a real explanation. The 49ers have the better roster.
I don’t think the 49ers are going to win this game in a blowout, but they most certainly should win this game. I’m taking the Cardinals to beat the spread, but the 49ers to win.