Trent Dilfer grew up in Aptos, so he knows that you simply can't throw around His name casually. And by Him, I don't mean the man upstairs. I mean Joe Montana. So it speaks to just how impressive Kurt Warner, the 49ers' Monday night opponent, has been this season when Dilfer the other day drew a comparison between No. 13 and No. 16. Said Dilfer: "As far as the rhythm passing game, he's the best since Joe Montana."
Indeed, words like "rhythm" and "comfortable" and "calmness" seem to pop up when people are describing Warner this season. After eight games, Warner has an unbelievable 69.9 completion rate, which is the best in the NFL and the best in his career. He's being mentioned as a potential MVP. And if the perennially woeful Cardinals go on to win the division, it will be hard to argue against him.
It's not just the Cardinals' big guns - Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin - Warner is targeting. When defenses concentrate on stopping the top two receivers, Warner has been quick to go to Nos. 3 and 4. Steve Breaston has 39 receptions for 503 yards (that's more than any 49ers receiver in case you're wondering) while Jerheme Urban has 14 catches, two of them for touchdowns.
Said Boldin of his understudies: "They've been one of the reasons the offense has been able to expand the way it has. Especially when I was out, Steve stepped in and played well in both games I was out. And he's continued to do that, as well as Jerheme Urban."
Interestingly enough, the 49ers are one of the few teams to handle Warner this season. In their Week One match up, a 23-13 Arizona win, Warner threw for a rather ho hum 197 yards. Of course, he was 16 yards shy of 500 the last time the teams met in Arizona. (Thank Patrick Willis for keeping him below five hundy). Which Warner will the 49ers be facing? Tune in Monday ...
-- Matt Barrows