There's a little more on the line this Monday night than there was when in week one when the 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-16. This week, the Cardinals could walk away with the 2009 NFC West championship.
The Cardinals would clinch a playoff spot and the division crown with a win Monday. They're already three full games ahead of the 49ers, and one more Niner loss coupled with a Cardinal win would guarantee the Cardinals a better record on the season than the 49ers.
The Seattle Seahawks have the same record 5-7 record as the 49ers. But if the Seahawks win out and finish tied with the Cardinals, Arizona would still win the NFC West. The Cardinals have beaten the Seahawks twice this season.
So that means only one team can block the Cardinals from winning the NFC West, and that's the 49ers. They need to beat Arizona Monday night, and then hope for the Cardinals to give up miracle wins to Detroit and St. Louis.
It's enough to make someone scream out in public that they don't care about the Cardinals.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has been sketching playoff scenarios onto cocktail napkins on company time for more than a month.