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Four Downs: 49ers Keys to Victory Against the Cardinals in Mexico City

Coming off of Week 10 victories, the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals face off on Monday night to close out Week 11 with an NFC West rivalry in Estadio Azteca.

"Not a lot of people get to do this," safety Talanoa Hufanga said. "It's a very special moment of our team, for the fanbase, for the Hispanic culture. I'm just very blessed to be able to go out there and play the game that I love. All my teammates are excited as well."

For this week's Four Downs, 49ers team reporter Lindsey Pallares and 49ers Spanish insider Jesús Zárate have joined me to answer questions ahead of the team's "Monday Night Football" contest against the Cardinals asked by the Faithful at the team's La Casa de los 49ers in Mexico City.

1st Down: Why Did the 49ers Practice in Colorado?

The decision to practice in Colorado Springs was a move by the organization to give 49ers players time to acclimate and train at a higher elevation prior to their game versus the Cardinals in Mexico City. The United State Air Force Academy sits roughly 6,700 feet above sea level and domestically, is one of the few places that will mimic the elevation conditions of Estadio Azteca which is located about 7,300 feet above sea level.

Per head coach Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers health and performance staff noted the advantages to training at a higher elevation prior to playing in it, and several other NFL teams have made similar trips.

Players noted the initial elevation change after their first practice on Thursday, mentioning the thin air and fatigue between reps. The team had three practices and a walkthrough before heading to Mexico City on Sunday, so there's been ample opportunity for the team to work towards adjusting to the elevation. After their five days in Colorado, the team is primed and ready to go in Mexico City!

2nd Down: What Are Your Expectations for the 49ers Offensive Line?

My expectations for the 49ers offensive line this week in Mexico against the Cardinals are very high. Left tackle Trent Williams being part of the group is always a great help. Young players like Aaron Banks and Spencer Burford are having a really good season.

Overall, the team has a very reliable unit upfront. The task is not easy when you face guys like J.J. Watt and Zach Allen, but the 49ers have the players to be prepared for that challenge.

3rd Down: What Will Be the 49ers Key to Victory Against the Cardinals?

With the addition of Christian McCaffrey and the return of Elijah Mitchell, the 49ers have a very talented run game, that I believe will be the key to success against Arizona. In fact, Mitchell said that he believes himself and McCaffrey could be "the best duo of backs in the league."

In San Francisco's previous contest, Mitchell rushed for 89 yards on 18 carries. McCaffrey racked up 38 yards on 14 carries. The RB duo are finding their groove as they adjust to each other's style of play, and with one game together under their belt, they are primed for a big game against the Cardinals.

4th Down: What is Your Bold Prediction for the Week 11 Matchup Against Arizona?

@LindseyLares: The 49ers defense will post its third-straight second half shutout on Monday night. I expect San Francisco to win 31-11.

@JesusZarate87: Even though the Cardinals have the ninth-ranked defense against the run, the 49ers will have a lot of success on the ground rushing for a team total of at least 170 yards. That will help San Francisco win the game 21-7.

@BriMcDonaldTV: I'm predicting that San Francisco will score more rushing touchdowns than receiving touchdowns, helping them defeat the Cardinals 23-16.

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