Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. (turf, indoors)
When: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Spread: 49ers by 7
Records: Cardinals (Overall: 4-3, NFC West: 1-1); 49ers (Overall: 5-2, NFC West: 2-1)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Dec. 11, 2011: Cardinals 21, 49ers 19; Nov. 20, 2011: 49ers 21, Cardinals 3. Series record: 49ers lead 24-17.
What matters: After winning four straight to open the season, following a brilliant finish to the 2011 campaign, Arizona could not have been higher. After three straight losses, the last a 21-14 defeat to Minnesota, the Cardinals could not be much lower. Matchups against the 49ers, Green Bay and Atlanta in the near future could bury them even further unless the offensive line turns it around.
Who matters: LaRod Stephens-Howling made a big statement for the Cardinals against the Vikings, and that statement is: "Give me the ball. Now." The Hyphen, as he's called, had his first true breakout game for Arizona, breaking the 100-yard mark for the first time. Those 104 yards proved to all, the least of which, Stephens-Howling himself, that despite small stature, he can produce big yards.
Key matchups: Arizona offensive line vs. San Francisco defense. The Cardinals continue their incredibly porous play up front, with John Skelton now running for his life instead of Kevin Kolb. Arizona must -- really, must -- play better up front against one of the exciting defenses in the NFL for the Cardinals to even have a shot.
Injuries of note: Arizona's defensive backfield remains limited, as Kerry Rhodes (back) and cornerback Greg Toler (hamstring) are still questionable after missing the Vikings game and practice all week. The Cardinals could be in trouble, too, as San Francisco likely returns wide receiver Mario Manningham to bolster its receiving corps.
Inside stuff: Skelton's 262 passing yards against Minnesota was the Cardinals' third-highest total of the year, and must be a shot in the arm for the slumping Skelton. After winning the starting nod out of the preseason, Skelton was sidelined in Week 1 before a brutal reappearance in an overtime loss to Buffalo in Week 6, when he completed 2 of 10 passes and threw a game-deciding interception. A big game against the Vikings was huge heading into a matchup with the snarling San Francisco defense.
Connections: Cardinals guard Adam Snyder signed with Arizona last offseason after more than a half-decade with the 49ers.
Stat you should know: Skelton was sacked seven times by the Vikings, but even worse, Arizona only took Minnesota's Christian Ponder down three times. The Cardinals need to re-dial up the pressure against Alex Smith.
Looking ahead: No, don't make us. It's not pretty. After San Francisco, Arizona faces the Packers before a merciful bye, then a matchup with the Falcons. Not exactly what you want to see after a bye.
Prediction: 49ers 33, Cardinals 17
For more news and analysis from Cardinals blogger Jon Gold, follow @CBSCardinals on Twitter.