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Reply To: NFL Week 12 • Previews, Articles, Info. • Sunday 11/29/15

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Preview: Arizona at San Francisco

When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, November 29, 2015

Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California

The Arizona Cardinals have a clear path to the NFC West title and go for their fifth consecutive victory when they visit the division-rival San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Owners of the league’s highest-scoring offense with an average of 33.6 points per game, the high-powered Cardinals manhandled the 49ers 47-7 in Week 3.

Coach Bruce Arians has raised expectations in the desert, showing little satisfaction after Arizona eked out a 34-31 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. “It’s kind of sounding like a broken record, but I really didn’t like the way we played,” Arians told reporters. San Francisco coach Jim Tomsula faces an entirely different set of challenges with a roster that’s been depleted because of retirements, free agency and injuries. The 49ers split two games since Tomsula benched Colin Kaepernick and installed Blaine Gabbert as the starting quarterback.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX.

LINE: Cardinals -10.5. O/U: 44.5

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (8-2): Arizona collapsed down the stretch a year ago when Carson Palmer suffered a season-ending knee injury, but the veteran signal-caller is at the top of his game, throwing for a league-high 27 touchdown passes, including 11 over the past three games. Larry Fitzgerald has been the biggest beneficiary of a healthy Palmer, leading a deep and talented receiving corps with 73 catches and seven touchdowns. Running back Chris Johnson is in a mini-slump but had 110 yards and two TDs in the earlier meeting – a game in which Arizona had four interceptions.

ABOUT THE 49ERS (3-7): The Week 3 matchup was akin to a first-round KO after Arizona picked off Colin Kaepernick twice and returned each for a touchdown within the first six minutes to ignite the rout. Gabbert has yet to play with leading rusher Carlos Hyde, who has been out since Oct. 22 with a stress fracture in his foot and did not practice again Wednesday. Top receiver Anquan Boldin returned from a two-game injury absence and had five catches for 93 yards, but San Francisco must plug holes in a defense that permitted 209 rushing yards to Seattle rookie Thomas Rawls last week.


1. Fitzgerald needs 74 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the seventh time in his career and first since 2011.

2. 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman has an NFC-leading 97 tackles.

3. The Cardinals are the only team to rank among the league’s top five on offense and defense.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 27, 49ers 16