Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/19/14
The NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers followed up an uncharacteristic one-sided loss with a gritty division-opening win last week. They're expecting another tough battle when they visit the desert Monday night. Points could be hard to come by as San Francisco - winner of 10 of 12 against division opponents - squares off against the offensively-challenged Arizona Cardinals, who are hoping to avoid a fourth consecutive loss. After suffering a 26-3 defeat to the New York Giants in Week 6, the 49ers (5-2) got back on track last Thursday with a 13-6 win over Seattle. Frank Gore ran for a season-high 131 yards and added five receptions for another 51 while the defense limited the Seahawks to 251 yards of total offense. "We expect these games in the NFC West to be 60 minutes of physical football," left tackle Joe Staley said. Gore was forced from that victory with bruised ribs but - thanks to 10 days off - should be good to go for what sets up as another highly-competitive showdown...
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