San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals Observations And Where To Watch Online: More Than Meets the Eye In Week 17 Matchup
At first glance, there is not much exciting about week 17’s matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers are 10-4-1 and have already clinched a playoff berth. On the opposite sideline, the Cardinals are 5-10 and their fans are surely looking forward to the draft already. But upon further examination, this game holds quite a bit of intrigue. Here are some storylines to watch for.
Aldon Smith Chases Strahan’s Sack Record Like He Chases Quarterbacks
This year the San Francisco 49ers continue their annual Pro Bowl party in Honolulu, sending nine of their players to the Pro Bowl and seven as alternates. The tendency for many players to cancel on this event could mean the 49ers sending even more to the Pro Bowl, provided they don’t end up going to a different Bowl (an awesome one, no doubt).
The Niners Pro Bowl selections reflect the 49ers core strengths. Their outstanding running attack is led by an outstanding offensive line (the entire line is either in the Pro Bowl or is selected as a Pro Bowl alternate) and perennial Pro Bowler in Frank Gore. The defensive side of the ball, led by a dominating front seven, continues to be amongst the leagues’ best each year.
But which of these Niner Pro Bowl selections are the best? Which ones are at the bottom? Here is my list.
The most watched game of the day is also going to be the most bet game of the day. I think it's safe to say everyone is looking forward to this match-up, especially those of us who love great defense. Let's take a closer look at what the betting angles are.
Before Week 15, Vegas had the 49ers as -2 point favorites in this game. Despite a statement win in Foxboro, the Seahawks re-opened as -1 point favorites on Sunday. Not much has changed during the week either, but there has been some late money on Seattle today. You can find Seattle at -1, but some books have them as high as -3, too (odds from SBRforum). That is kind of surprising because the 49ers are sure to be popular teaser choices at anything above +1.5. Normally when I like a short favorite, I tell people to grab them at anything under -3, but given how tight this could be, I suggest to get the best number possible. Laying more than -1 could come into the equation here.
Any Analysis Needed?
It took two pick-sixes, and another interception returned to the three yard line, a muffed punt recovered at the 5-yard line and an inspired 31-yard touchdown run by Beanie Wells, but the Arizona Cardinals finally snapped their nine-game losing streak against a Detroit Lions team in the middle of their own nightmare season.
Just a week after being demolished against Seattle, in a game where it seemed the Cardinals couldn't get a single lucky bounce, the Cardinals managed to turn around their fortunes, and caught no end of lucky breaks themselves.
Arizona Cardinals News: President Michael Bidwell Has Difficult Decisions To Make Regarding NFL Draft And Ken Whisenhunt
Michael Bidwell is not an overly vocal NFL president. However, a nine-game slide, and a humiliating 58-0 loss to the Cardinals divisional rival Seattle Seahawks was apparently too much to much to ignore and he was finally forced to break his silence.
In his first interview on the subject of the Cardinals recent run of poor form, Bidwell committed to a "top down" review, but insisted that decisions would not be rushed, and that major staff changes would not come before the end of the season.
He admitted that he understood that fans have been "living and dying with each one of these losses," but added that there was "lot of emotion around [the Seahawks loss] but [the front office] don't intend to make any decisions based on emotion."