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San Francisco 49ers Showdown On Primetime With Arizona Cardinals

Oh, what a tangled web we weave: up next we've got a primetime game for the San Francisco 49ers that they probably should never have gotten. Sure, they always play the Cardinals on Monday Night Football, but they were handed an abundance of primetime games based on their lofty expectations for this season.

Expectations that they've undoubtedly fell short of. At this point in the season, the 49ers were supposed to have a stranglehold on the NFC West. They were supposed to have handed a loss to a couple good teams and unceremoniously crushed the bad teams they've gone up against. Instead, they've played close games while losing to the good teams and been systematically beaten down by the bad teams.

So what now? They head to Arizona and do what it is they do best: play a good game on primetime and beat their division rivals. You can look at this game one of two ways as a 49er fan. Perhaps you want the team to win, because losing is never an option, and with that, you stay out of last place in the division and push the hated Cardinals down. Perhaps maybe you'd rather the 49ers lose, tank the season, clean house in the offseason and have a good draft spot.

Whatever the case, it should be a good game, in that one crazy bad team usually finds a way to totally annihilate another crazy bad team by exploiting one or two crazy bad weaknesses with a little luck. Did you get all of that? Both teams have an uncertain quarterback position. Mike Singletary announced that Troy Smith will get the start again for San Francisco, despite a less-than-stellar performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a 21-0 shutout at Candlestick Park.

Both teams are technically still in the race for the NFC West division lead, but at this point, hopes have all but evaporated. Throughout the week, we will post matchups and analysis, so read along.