You might have been hard pressed to find someone at the beginning of the season who would have predicted that the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals would be 3-7 at the bottom of the NFC West, but that’s where both teams find themselves in Week 12. Amazingly, both teams are only two games behind division leader Seattle and the winner will at least have some hope left in the season.

The 49ers are coming off a bad loss at home where they were shut out by Tampa Bay. QB Troy Smith is making his fourth start and while he has only thrown one interception, he has only two touchdowns in those games. RB Frank Gore is going to be looking to get back on track with the running game. Arizona is last in the league in defending the run and Gore has been averaging over 101 yards in the past five games against the Cardinals.

Arizona is coming off its fifth loss in a row, against Kansas City. The Cardinals are last in the league in rushing offense and have been relying on QB Derek Anderson to move the team. The offensive line will have to stiffen to give Anderson some time for downfield plays to develop as he has been sacked 23 times this year. On the other side, the Arizona defense will need to get after 49er’s QB Troy Smith who was sacked six times last week by a mediocre Tampa Bay pass rush.
FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games and come up with a Monday Night Markets [MNM] rank for each team based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.

The major indexes were down last week with the Dow Industrials losing 1.0%, now down two of the last three weeks. The S&P 500 was also down closing out the week with a 0.9% loss and has now also been down two of the past three weeks. Positive momentum from a higher than expected consumer sentiment and a jobless claims number at the lowest level in two years were offset by European sovereign debt concerns and negative impact from the military incident between North and South Korea. The markets also reacted negatively after Federal Reserve lowered its outlook on the US economy and the Government’s insider trading probe.

Over the past 20 years, the 49ers have played 39 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .467 when the Dow closes the prior week down and .667 when the S&P 500 is down giving them a MNM rank for this week of .567. During the same 20 year period, the Cardinals have played 6 Monday night games and have a rank of .250 when the Dow and S&P 500 is down giving them an MNM rank this week of .250.

Monday Night Markets picks the San Francisco 49ers to win on the road in Arizona.
2010 Monday Night Markets picks: 6-6.

WEEK 12 FBN Staff Picks:

Chris Cotter

I really don’t like either of these teams. Mike Singletary looks to be on the way out in San Fran. The team has rallied around their embattled coach before, but that lightening rarely strikes twice. They just aren’t very good. Neither are the Cardinals, but they are coached by a Georgia Tech man, which makes him one of the smartest people on earth. Cardinals win, 3-0.

Season: 9-3


Robert Gray

A year ago this matchup seemed destined to decide who would win the NFC West and make some noise in the playoffs. Despite their losing records, the winner of this game may still be in the hunt to win the weak division and then make a hasty playoff exit. San Francisco’s solid defense and running game from a year ago has been spotty at best this season, while the Cardinals pine for their Super Bowl superstar QB Kurt Warner who retired after last season. Still the Cards have Larry Fitzgerald and just enough defense to win on home turf.

Season: 4-2