The red hot (5-3) division-leading Cardinals host the troubled (2-6) 49ers Monday night, hoping to extend their lead in the division. The last time these teams met, week 1 this season, Arizona won 23-13 on Kurt Warner’s 197-yd, 1 TD performance while Edgerrin James rushed for 100 yds. But the Cardinals’ offense has exploded since week 1. Last week Warner threw for 342 yds and 2 TDs vs. the Rams. Currently, Warner is having a Pro Bowl season, with 16 TDs, 6 INTs, 2,431 yds and an impressive 104.2 rating which leads the NFC while in 2nd in the league behind San Diego’s Philip Rivers (107.8 rating.)
The rest of Arizona’s offense has been tremendous as well. Anquan Boldin didn’t seem to miss a step during his short absence following his injury vs. the Jets and Steve Breaston and Jerheme Urban stepped right in and were both quite productive. Larry Fitzgerald is always a stud, and rookie Tim Hightower’s 1st start last week amassed him an impressive 109 yds and a TD. Arizona leads the NFL in scoring, with 29.3 points per game and an average of 34 at home. Additionally, the Cardinals are 5-0 at University of Phoenix Stadium this season, and 9-2 since Ken Whisenhunt took over.
With new San Fran coach Mike Singletary’s dramatic benching of J.T. O’Smelling-Salts, er Sullivan, QB Shaun Hill makes the start with a 2-0 record. Additionally, Frank Gore typically runs well vs. the Cards; scoring at least 1 TD in their last 5 meetings. But the Cardinal defense has been hot hot hot, like the desert itself.
(Love the Medusa-esque hair!)