It was an interesting week for the NFC West. The Arizona Cardinals moved to the top of the league with their league best record of 7-1 after winning in Dallas against the Cowboys. The Seattle Seahawks barely held on to beat the league’s worst Oakland Raiders. And in the game with the most controversial ending, the St Louis Rams upset the San Francisco 49ers. With last week’s results in the books, let’s get right into the NFC West Week 10 Game Previews:
Arizona Cardinals (7-1) vs St Louis Rams (3-5) +7.5
It’s been a long time, and maybe the only time you’ve ever heard this statement, but “The Arizona Cardinals are the best team in football”, that is by record of course. The Cardinals handled a Cowboy team without their starter Tony Romo 28-17, but the most impressive part of their season has been their ability to throw so much, yet have so little turnovers. Carson Palmer has 1385 yards with 11 TDs and only 2 TDs in 5 starts this year. As long as he’s good, this team will continue to win.
The Rams pulled off a huge upset last week by creating a fumble from the 1 yard line on a Colin Kaepernick QB sneak with less than 10 seconds to go. The 49ers felt he broke the plane, but with so many bodies around the goal line, there was no way to really tell and the call on the field stood. Now they will try to do that again by going into Arizona to face the Cards. Unfortunately for the Rams, pulling one upset was amazing, pulling two off, in back to back weeks, is unthinkable to me with the way Arizona is playing right now.
Prediction: Cardinals 30, Rams 23
Seattle Seahawks (5-3) vs New York Giants (3-5) +9.5
The Seahawks were not good last week. They started out well, jumping out to a 24-3 lead at the half, but they barely held on to beat the Raiders 30-24. The offense just couldn’t get anything going as QB Russell Wilson only went 17-35 for 179 yards and no TDs, while RB Marshawn Lynch had 21 carries for only 67 yards, but he did chip in 2 TDs. It was mostly an ugly game to watch and unexpected by a defending champion who is hosting a winless team.
However, speaking of ugly, the New York Giants offense was dreadful on Monday Night against the Indianapolis Colts. Andrew Luck did pretty much anything he wanted and the Giants WRs dropped at least 5-6 catchable passes. The Giants are in the middle of arguably the most brutal schedule in football as they have faced the Eagles, Cowboys and the Colts last week and now face the Seahawks, 49ers, and Cowboys. It’s a stretch that 0-6 is not out of question. I think they continue their downward snowball effect here.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, Giants 17
San Francisco 49ers (4-4) at New Orleans Saints (4-4) -4.5
The 49ers have a lot of issues. It’s not just because they lost to a bad 2-5 team last week at home. It’s because they just don’t look right when you watch them. Before the season I said they lost too many players to injury on defense, but at this point it’s not the defense. The play calling on offense is horrible. They’ve forgotten about their centerpiece Frank Gore and Kaepernick is a better athlete than QB. They don’t have a deep threat in their top 3 WRs and Vernon Davis has vanished.
Now you put all of that together and mix in that the Saints have finally realized that the season started and you have a very dangerous game for the 49ers. Saints hardly ever lose at home under Sean Payton and they are starting to kick it into high gear, winning 3 of their last 4, 4 of their last 6. Drew Brees leads a 2nd ranked passing offense, while Mark Ingram has 285 yards and 3 TDs over the last 2 weeks. This is the game that could lead to some changes in San Francisco.
Prediction: 49ers 23, Saints 27
With the division not dominating the way it was expected to, the question now has to be raised if the NFC West was overrated going into the year or have the rest of the league just caught up to them? Only half the season is done so there is still a long way to go. Will the Seahawks and 49ers go on a run to catch the Cardinals? Has Seattle gotten complacent with their Superbowl rings? Has time run out on the 49er’s clocks? There’s only one way to find out, that’s to sit back, relax, and enjoy the games.
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