Cardinals vs. 49ers: time, how to watch, live streaming, key matchups, choose ‘Monday Night Football’

For the final game of Week 11, the NFL gives us the latest entry in its international series as the Arizona Cardinals “host” the San Francisco 49ers at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca.

The Cardinals will likely be without starting quarterback Kyler Murray, meaning Colt McCoy will be below center. Arizona recorded a win against a division rival last week with McCoy in the game, but that game also came against the opposing back quarterback. Technically, the 49ers are starting their backup quarterback, since Jimmy Garoppolo took over after Trey Lance’s season-ending injury, but that’s a very different situation than John Wolford replacing Matthew Stafford.

San Francisco has won two in a row since losing the first game of the Christian McCaffrey era and has a shot at getting it. Will the Niners keep their streak going, or will the Cardinals pull off the upset? We’ll find out soon enough. Before we break down the matchup, here’s how to check out the game.

How to watch

Date: Monday November 21 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Place: Estadio Azteca (Mexico City, Mexico)
TV: ESP | Current: fuboTV (free trial)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Chances: 49ers -8, O/U 43 (courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook)

When the 49ers have the ball

A few weeks ago we wrote about the kind of things we could expect the 49ers to do on the offensive with Christian McCaffrey in the fold:

Shanahan is one of the league’s most inventive game designers, and McCaffrey has a versatility unmatched by any NFL rated running back. Since entering the league in 2017, McCaffrey ranks 11th among running backs in snaps lined up as a perimeter wide receiver, and third in snaps lined up in the slot, according to Tru Media.

Combine his flexibility with that of Deebo Samuel, as well as Kyle Juszczyk and even Brandon Aiyuk, and we’re going to see the Niners get into some wild stuff. Of course, Samuel is the first of all wide receivers in snaps aligned in the backfield. He’s been there in 15% of his snaps this season, which is about as often as he’s lined up (19%). Juszczyk, who is a fullback and thus plays a much lighter snap load than most runners, still checks in sixth to backfield players in snaps wide and second in closing snaps…

It’s very easy to imagine the Niners dropping McCaffrey in a lot of the things they do in terms of moving players into different positions and getting the ball in creative ways, largely because even the ridiculously bad Panthers offense found ways to do that once in a while. a while. Whether it was setting him up in the slot, making him move into orbit, or sending him wide to get a blocking smokescreen in front of him, we saw a lot of things in Carolina that we will probably see in San Francisco…

But the 49ers can get even more ambitious with McCaffrey, because unlike, say, Jeff Wilson Jr. or Elijah Mitchell, or even Juszczyk, he’s an elite, home-run threat as both a runner and receiver. Using him instead of one of those three players could open up even more room for guys like Samuel, and having Samuel in the backfield or having Juszczyk wide or in the slot could create confusion among teams and thus more working space for McCaffrey. .

The passing game stuff that San Francisco should have access to with CMC on the field might be even more exciting. The concepts will remain the same, but who tunes where and how that threatens enemy defenses will constantly change. Imagine the Niners lining up in a splayed look, shoving Samuel to the backfield, sending Juszczyk into motion and faking a hand-off to Samuel in that direction, then turning a quick screen to McCaffrey the other way . Or Samuel in the backfield, Juszczyk wide, CMC in the slot and Aiyuk split to the same side of the field.

And in the three games CMC has played with its new team, we’ve seen all that and more. But in the most recent game, we also saw the Niners opt to have Elijah Mitchell spell McCaffrey for some of the work in progress with lower leverage so they could get the most out of their new star.

McCaffrey got all the third-down work and most of the goal-line work, but allowed some early-down stuff and got almost none of the salt-the-game-away-with-the-team-up-multiple -scores-late work. And why would he? Mitchell is a good player anyway and there’s no real reason to risk McCaffrey’s health in those situations. It helps that Mitchell ran as effectively as he should in this game, given his skill and the relative weakness of Arizona’s running defense compared to San Francisco’s running block. Even if he doesn’t get the 18 porters he did a week ago, he should get some work here.

San Francisco will certainly use the threat from both McCaffrey and Mitchell to spice up the pass game with game action, and we’ll see a large number of screens to Samuel, Aiyuk and Kittle to keep the Arizona pass rush off balance. Maybe things won’t be particularly explosive unless someone makes a lot of YAC, but they will most likely be efficient.

When the Cardinals have the ball

So it sounds like Colt McCoy will be under center for Arizona as Kyler Murray will apparently miss another game with his balky hamstring.

McCoy started last week against the Rams and completed 26 of 37 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown. In three games filling in for Murray last season, McCoy went 74 of 99 for 740 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. That’s actually pretty good! However, it’s not exactly in line with McCoy’s performance over the rest of his career (62.2% completion percentage, 6.6 yards per attempt, 34 touchdowns against 29 interceptions, 8.3% escape percentage), so we may not expect a replay – especially against a defense as good as San Francisco’s. For a player who plays so little and thus brings uncertainty, it’s important to think about what we actually know will happen in this matchup.

So, what do we know? We know the Cardinals will spread the field. We know they will try to get the ball to DeAndre Hopkins as often as possible. We know that James Conner will get the vast majority of shots in the backfield. We know that Rondale Moore will be the main man underneath, and Zach Ertz’s absence will turn things around a bit on that front. (But we don’t know what to expect from rookie Trey McBride.) And we know that the Niners will probably put a ton of pressure against an offensive line that probably looks overwhelmed.

None of that sounds like a recipe for offensive success. Perhaps McCoy defies expectations, but it’s hard to imagine how it plays out against this particular opponent.

Recommended game | Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers

Prediction: 49ers 24, Cardinals 10

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