The newly crowned 2011 NFC West Division champion San Francisco 49ers will be jaunting down to Phoenix this weekend to wipe the two game winning streak off the faces of the Arizona Cardinals. Since having their hides peeled at Candlestick on November 20th, the Cardinals have squeaked by the Rams and oozed by the Cowboys courtesy of a last minute, brain dead choke job by Tony Romo and his coach Jason Garrett.
Arizona managed to beat the Rams even though their QB John Skelton tossed up a QBR 30.0 airball. For Dallas, Arizona had its starting QB Kevin Kolb back in action, bringing a big sigh of relief to the Cardinal WRs.
The 49ers faced Skelton at Candlestick, but will now be going up against Kolb in Phoenix. Against Dallas, Kolb piled up 247 yards passing, but only 13 points on the scoreboard. He’s unlikely to fare any better against the Niners.
This “rivalry” has been a bit one-sided lately, but the two teams have built up a solid dislike of each other. It’s probably a manhood thing. A few years back Darnell Dockett and Vernon Davis engaged in a Twitter smack down that was partly in good fun, but the fun has run out for Darnell as the 49ers have run over him going on five straight games. He now openly admits he hates the Niners. It won’t be surprising if we see a few slap and shove yo mommas break out in the fourth quarter.
Cardinals RB Beanie Wells has been piling up yards lately, but he won’t add much to his pile against the Niners. Personally, I’m a little skeptical of a guy who hasn’t ditched the wimpy nickname his older brother gave him as a kid. Chris Wells admittedly doesn’t strike terror into an LBs heart, but it’s an improvement over Beanie. If a guy reaches his mid-twenties and hasn’t figured out that the only rhyme he fits into is one featuring the word Weanie, then it’s clear he’s flunked the manly man academy of life and must be shuffled off the rails into Snickersville.
Beanie and Darnell. Are these names empire quality building blocks? Sheesh. Both of them sound like a childhood of having your ear pulled every ten seconds by an overbearing mother.
Speaking of names, “Cardinals” isn’t exactly a fiercesome image, either. Falcons, Eagles, Ravens — these are scary birds. Football quality names. In the NFC West, we have Cardinals and Seahawks. No wonder this division stinks. Rams are mean sheep and 49ers are mean S.O.B.’s. And don’t get me started on the eyesore all red uniforms the Cardinals wear. The team looks like it fell into a bloodbank on the way to the stadium.
Arizona’s defense has been quietly improving as the year toddles along and two weeks ago managed to hold the Rams to twenty points. Hmmm. Okay, let’s try last week when they held the Cowboys to thirteen. Which would be impressive if not for the fact that the Cowboys have lost to AZ three straight times, in 2008, 2010, and now 2011. It’s a Cowboy jinx game. Kind of like the Saints being baffled by the Rams. And who better to keep the score at 13 instead of 16 or 20 than Tony “Ooops” Romo.
But enough with the accolades for this Sunday’s opponent. I still think the 49ers will win this game. They played their sloppiest game of the year in the November 20 game and still won easily, 23-7. It’s doubtful they’ll be sloppy yet again. And it’s doubtful the Cardinals defense has improved that dramatically in the past three weeks. Sorry, AZ. Better luck next year.