Last week the Arizona Cardinals continued their magical carpet ride with a 12-6 win over the St Louis Rams, while the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers for the 2nd time in 3 weeks, this time by the score of 17-7. This sets up a monumental battle in Arizona this week as Seattle travels there to play the Cardinals in what will very likely decide the #1 seed in the NFC. So with that being said, and an exciting Week 15 in the books, and only 2 more weeks to go in the regular season, let’s get right to the NFC West Week 16 Game Previews:
Arizona Cardinals (11-3) vs Seattle Seahawks (10-4) -8
It wasn’t pretty. It was downright ugly. But in the end, it took 4 FGs from Chandler Catanzaro and a great defensive effort by the Cardinals to push them to the 11 win mark, which likely gets them into the playoffs. The bad part about last week is starting QB Drew Stanton going down with a sprained ACL and MCL. He will likely miss approximately 4 weeks. It’s a deadly blow to a team that is already playing without normal starting QB Carson Palmer and starting RB Andre Ellington.
The hottest team in the league is probably the Seattle Seahawks. Their team is hitting on all cylinders at the right time and their defense is playing on another level than the rest of the league. They had no significant injuries last week, so they will be coming in at mostly full strength. Once again, Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” shut down Colin Kaepernick and the entire 49ers offense, holding them to only 105 total yards passing.
Anyone looking at this game that isn’t a Cardinals fan is probably going to say that there is zero chance that the Cardinals have to win this game, even playing at home. With Ryan Lindley starting at QB and Kerwynn Williams starting at RB, the Seahawks defense should have a field day. I don’t expect the Seahawks to take the Cardinals lightly despite the devastating injuries, so I think this one may end up being as ugly as everyone thinks unless the Arizona defense plays out of their mind, which isn’t impossible.
Prediction: Cardinals 3, Seahawks 16
San Francisco 49ers (7-7) vs San Diego Chargers (8-6) +2.5
My original prediction at the start of the year of the 49ers not making the playoffs finally seems to be coming to fruition. The Niners have lost their 3rd straight last week and are out of the playoff chase. Colin Kaepernick had yet another game with no TDs and as I’ve been saying the past couple week, the team has seem to quit out there. With all of this controversy with the GM, Coach, Offensive Coordinator and the QB, they now have to face the San Diego Chargers, who still have eyes on a playoff berth.
The Chargers are still fully in the middle of a race for the wildcard spots in the AFC. They find themselves one game behind the Ravens and Steelers, who are both at 9-5. This is one of those games where they will either lose and put them away or win and probably win next week, just to fall barely outside the playoffs. This should be a close game late with Rivers driving for either the game tying or winning points, but I feel a late turnover causing the end of the Charger’s playoff hopes.
Prediction: 49ers 27, Chargers 24
St Louis Rams (6-8) vs New York Giants (5-9) +5
If the Rams weren’t in the NFC, they could be compared very favorably to the Cincinnati Bengals. Their bad start to begin the year, tied to the multiple injuries at the most important positions, have done them in. They still have a good defense and are still fighting as hard as if they could still make the playoffs. That’s a big feather in the cap to their coach, Jeff Fisher. They will call this a big success if they can finish the year .500.
The Giants are just trying to finish the season with something to look forward to. They found that in Odell Beckham Jr. A combination of him and Victor Cruz should prove to be a formidable WR duo next year, but for this year, their season is lost and the only big question is if, longtime coach and 2 time Superbowl winner, Tom Coughlin will be back on the sidelines. As usual, I expect them to play tough, but will come up short in the end.
Prediction: Rams 20, Giants 17
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