The NFC West got a little tighter in week 12. The division leading Arizona Cardinals stumbled in a divisional matchup with the defending Superbowl champion Seattle Seahawks by the score of 19-3. The San Francisco 49ers continued their train ride up the division by beating the pesky Washington Redskins team, 17-13. And once again, the St Louis Rams fought hard and played hard, but ended up coming up short, losing the San Diego Chargers, 27-24. So without further ado, let’s get right to the NFC West Week 13 Game Previews:
Arizona Cardinals (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7) +2.5
Last week the Arizona Cardinals tasted defeat for the 1st time since week 5. The Seahawks were able to attack the Cardinals from start to finish. They were never really a threat in this game. Coach Bruce Arians has said they need more from Andre Ellington if they are to get back on the winning track. Ellington has struggled the entire year with various nagging injuries, but has been able to start every game this year.
The Cardinals will get somewhat of a break this week as the face the struggling Atlanta Falcons. They have been the worst team in the league stopping the run and haven’t exactly been the 85 Bears against the pass either. They are coming off a loss to the Cleveland Browns in which Brian Hoyer led a final minute drive down the field to setup the game winning FG. I think this will be Ellington’s breakout game with one or two TDs and we may see Michael Floyd catch a TD also.
Prediction: Cardinals 24, Falcons 20
San Francisco 49ers (7-4) vs Seattle Seahawks (7-4) +1
Once again, the 49ers found a way to get it done. They still seem to be playing down to their opponent’s level of competition, but a win is a win. The 3rd straight win gets them back in the running for the last playoff spot. They still trail in the division by two games, but with the Detroit Lion’s loss to the New England Patriots, the 49ers are right in the middle of the chase with five weeks left. They hope to continue their winning streak in what will be a tough stretch of games that will include two games against Seattle and one against Arizona.
The Seahawks also continued their winning ways. They have won 4 of their last 5 and need to probably win 3-4 of their final 5 games to get in the playoffs in what will be a demolition course of a conference. Marshawn Lynch has been carrying the load with Russell Wilson using his legs more than his arm lately. To be the Niners, they may have to air it out more as the Niners have a good run defense, but it will be an interesting game to watch on Thanksgiving night.
This is a rematch of the NFC Championship game last year and it was known to most people as the REAL Superbowl. Now as they play for the 1st time of twice in three week, this game will be essential for both teams to continue their run to try to make it back into the playoffs this year. It’s probably more important to the Niners because they are at home, a loss here could be the nail in their coffin. Because of that, I think the 49ers have the slight edge in what should be a great treat of a game for the fans.
Prediction: 49ers 23, Seahawks 17
St Louis Rams (4-7) vs Oakland Raiders (1-10) +7
They say that a division is as good as its weakest member. With that being said, the Rams are proving why the NFC West is the still one of the best divisions in football. The Rams were a late turnover away from pulling off another upset, this time against the San Diego Chargers. If you ask me how they’ve done it this every week, it’s hard to put your finger on the exact reason. However, after starting the 1st five games with only one sack, their defense has attacked the opposing team’s QB constantly.
Every week the Rams go into the game as the underdog, but for once, they will be the favorite, and not only a favorite, but a big one. The Oakland Raiders got their 1st win of the year last Wednesday and they are better than their record indicates. Latavius Murray, who ran for over 100 yards and 2 TDs on only 4 carries last week, is cleared and ready to play after sustaining a concussion last week. I do thing the Rams will pull this one out, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Raiders pulled off their 2nd straight.
Prediction: Rams 20, Raiders 17
And that’s your NFC West Week 13 Game Previews. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and enjoy the games.
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