NFC West Reporter
The Arizona Cardinals gained new life with a win over the reigning Tremendous Bowl champions final week, a 27-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.
Nevertheless, the 4-6 Cardinals nonetheless have a tricky approach to undergo the post-season. Worse nonetheless, they performed one of many hottest groups within the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers, in Mexico Metropolis in Monday Night time Soccer, maybe with out Kyler Murray’s service.
The Arizona beginning quarterback is listed as problematic as a result of a lingering hamstring harm. Nevertheless, in line with reviews, backup Colt McCoy can have his second recreation in a row in opposition to the rising 49ers.
McCoy performed productive soccer for Arizona final week, finishing 26 of 37 238-yard passes and a landing. He injured his knee through the recreation however skilled all week and was allowed to play in opposition to San Francisco.
Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury mentioned: “Colt simply made so many various fouls and seeing so many various defences, the sport actually slowed down for him. “Particularly, when he will get to the entrance of the road, he can see what is going on to occur. He is aware of totally different appears. He does a whole lot of analysis on films. There are some individuals who simply have that knack. And he is a kind of guys who can decide it up first and know what the protection goes to do.”
The Cardinals will even be with out Zach Ertz, who suffered a knee harm late within the season final week and required surgical procedure. Nevertheless, they may take again recipient Marquise “Hollywood” Brown after a leg harm induced him to overlook 4 video games.
If DeAndre Hopkins is ready to play after lacking observe time this week due to a hamstring harm, it will be the primary time Brown and Hopkins have performed collectively in a daily recreation this season.
Having misplaced 4 of their previous six video games, the Cardinals want all of the wholesome gamers they’ll get in opposition to the 49ers. San Francisco is main 5-4 however has received two video games in a row and received 4 of its previous six video games. Arizona nonetheless has an out of doors likelihood to seize San Francisco for the ultimate wildcard spot within the NFC, however the Cardinals want to start out accumulating wins.
“It is not over but,” Murray mentioned. “Clearly, the season did not go as we wished. However we’re nonetheless concerned and the season is not over but. We all know this group is proficient sufficient to maintain going, and that is the mission. That is it. is instantaneous spirit.”
The Cardinals and 49ers took two totally different paths to prepare for the highs in Mexico Metropolis. Arizona opted to observe on the group’s facility this week and hit the highway for Saturday’s recreation.
San Francisco traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado, coaching on the Air Pressure Academy at greater altitudes in preparation for what they might face in Mexico Metropolis.
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan instructed NBC Sports activities Bay Space: “It is all in regards to the altitude. “We have needed to play in Denver earlier than, however right here in Colorado Springs it is virtually 2,000 toes tall, which is Mexico Metropolis to be precise. In order that’s an enormous deal.”
The 2 groups participated within the first recreation of the season performed exterior of the USA on October 2, 2005 in Mexico, a 31-14 victory for the Cardinals. Nevertheless, the 49ers are main 3-0 within the NFC West this season and haven’t dropped a single level within the second half of the group’s final two video games when defending.
McCoy can depend on latest historical past for confidence. He began Arizona’s win over San Francisco final season, a 31-17 win over the 49ers, through which the Texas product accomplished 22 of 26 249-foot passes and scored.
The Cardinals overcame the collection in opposition to San Francisco final season and have received seven of their final 10 video games since Shanahan took over because the group’s head coach in 2017.
Arizona is a heavy loser on this matchup. Though the Cardinals are the house group, they may really feel like they’re on the sphere, with a large San Francisco fan presence anticipated on the Estadio Azteca.
“We’re simply attempting to play effectively there,” mentioned Cardinals defensive midfielder JJ Watt. “We try to realize memorable issues, attempting to realize success and attempting to do no matter we will to assist our group win. We attempt to enhance week by week and the rule of regulation. the best way practices and video games work, if you happen to preserve working at it, you may preserve getting higher.”
Eric D. Williams has coated the NFL for over a decade, protecting the Los Angeles Rams for Sports activities Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma Information Tribune. Observe him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.
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