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Second Half Kicks Off w/ Matchup vs 49’ers

The Cardinals open the second half of the 2008 season with a nationally-televised home game against the San Francisco 49ers on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

Last week’s 34-13 win at St. Louis improved Arizona’s record to 5-3 mark, its best mark at midseason since 1984 (also 5-3). It also increased the team’s division lead to 3 games over the Rams, Seahawks, and 49ers (all 2-6). The season’s final 8 games will see the Cardinals play 4 within the NFC West (currently 2-0 in division play) and 5 at home (currently 3-0 at University of Phoenix Stadium, 9-2 in last two seasons).

Last Sunday at St. Louis, the Cards racked up a season-high 510 yards of offense behind a Kurt Warner-led passing attack and a run game headed by rookie Tim Hightower, who made his first career start. Warner was again sharp against his old team completing 23-34 passes (67.6%) for 342 yards and 2 TDs with no turnovers. Hightower became the first Cards rookie to top 100 rushing yards since 1993. Defensively, AZ allowed just 231 total yards and 61 rushing, both season lows. The game turned in the 2nd quarter when the Cards outscored the Rams 24-0.

The 49ers return from a week off and will be playing their second game under new head coach Mike Singletary, who replaced Mike Nolan prior to week 8. The two teams met in week 1 of ’08 when the Cards earned a 23-13 win at San Francisco. Keys to the victory were a 5-0 edge in turnovers and a 2nd half time of possession advantage of 22:38 to 7:22.

Former Cardinals CB Aeneas Williams will be honored at halftime of this week’s game and the 6-time Pro Bowler will become the 13th individual placed in the team’s Ring of Honor.

The roof at University of Phoenix Stadium is scheduled to be open for Monday’s game.

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