NFC West Breakdown: Week 13

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

(Scott Allen writes for Raising Zona, which is FSB’s Arizona Cardinals blog. Representing the rest of the NFC West are 12th Man Rising, Niner Noise. and Ramblin’ Fan.)

Someone from the west finally won a road game back east on Sunday. Nope, it wasn’t the Arizona Cardinals. It was the San Francisco 49ers who finally managed to score the first road victory for a west coast team this season by defeating Buffalo 10-3. Denver defeated the New York Jets in New Jersey later in the day. Watch out, a trend might be developing. One trend that continued – Arizona’s road woes, and Seattle’s and St. Louis overall woes. The “NFC Worst” as it’s becoming known as, one again failed to sway experts opinions of the division. Arizona could have done that by winning in Philly and St. Louis by winning a home game against a formidable opponent in Miami. Neither happened. The NFC West is now 15-33 on the season and 7 of those are from Arizona alone, who hasn’t seen victory in the last two weeks. Could we see a divisional winner at 8-8?

Arizona Cardinals (7-5):

Looking Back:

To answer the last question in the opening paragraph, no. Sure the Cardinals looked like a high school football team Thursday night in Philadelphia. Sure they failed to win a road game, in front of millions on national television, with their MVP candidate throwing three interceptions, the running game almost completely abandoned by now, Anquan Boldin having more butter on his hands than a tub of Country Crock, and a defense that was as successful as O.J. Simpson’s was at his last trial in Las Vegas. Not many positives came out of the game in Thursday’s 48-20 loss. However, the best thing for them to do is to look forward now.

Looking Forward:

Speaking of looking forward, the Cardinals should be looking forward to the rest of the season. December’s schedule is very kind to the Cardinals. Three of their last four are at home. There is something to be said for an early schedule loaded with road games. St. Louis, Minnesota, and Seattle come calling to University of Phoenix Stadium in December with the lone road game being, where else, back east against the New England Patriots. The way the Cards have played this season, it’s hard to tell how that will all play out, however, if they hold true to form and continue winning at home, they should finish 10-6. Of course with the way they played in Philly, that is being very optimistic. At this point, they can’t even back into the playoffs because San Francisco won on Sunday. They will need to take care of it themselves and there is no reason to believe they won’t take care of business Sunday at home against the Rams.

St. Louis Rams (2-10):

Looking Back:

Good news, Stephen Jackson returned for the Rams in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins. Bad news, it didn’t matter one bit. St. Louis brought their circus act back home and managed 12 points on Sunday. That would have been enough to beat Cincinatti, Buffalo, Detroit, Washington, Cleveland, Seattle, San Francisco, Detroit, and New England this week. Unfortunately they faced the offensive juggernaut in Miami, whose 16 points were enough to hand the Rams their 10th loss of the season. Is it too early to draft Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, Colt McCoy of Texas, or Tim Tebow of Florida yet? 2009 can’t get here fast enough.

Looking Forward:

I think it’s reached the point where the Rams can’t be looking forward to the next game. They have to be looking forward to next season. They are sure to get a high draft pick. They head to Arizona in week 14, a team that has outscored them 116-59 in the past three meetings. The Rams have just pride to play for now, oh and the high draft pick. Don’t be surprised to see the Rams give the Cardinals a game, at least early. The Cards defense has given up 85 points the past two weeks. Sure that was against the Giants and Eagles, however the Rams might have found the Cards on their schedule at the right time. They are desperately seeking a divisional title for the third week in a row. It’ll be tough to outscore the Cardinals, especially at home. Stranger, much stranger things have happened in 2008 so far.

San Francisco 49ers (4-8):

Looking Back:

The 49ers did the unthinkable. They won a game. On the road. Back east. Wow! Ok, so it might not have been a game that unearthed memories of Joe Montana and Jim Kelly, however, the 49ers defense came up big, only allowing 3 points to Buffalo en route to a 10-3 victory in Orchard Park. Shaun Hill was serviceable and did not turn the ball over. The re-emergence of Issac Bruce continued with another touchdown catch and 67 yards receiving.

Looking Forward:

It doesn’t get any easier as the New York Jets come to town. The Jets though are another hard team to figure out. They were manhandled at home against Denver, a team that was destroyed themselves at home to the Raiders the week before. Oh and speaking of the Raiders, one of the Jets four losses are in the bay area against said Raiders. If the 49ers keep up their defensive schemes and pay close attention to the Denver game plan on film this week, there is no reason why the 49ers can’t see win number 5 in the standings come next week.

Seattle Seahawks (2-10):

Looking Back:

Another turkey for the Seahawks. I’m not talking about the dinner table either. The Seahawks barely put up a fight on Thursday in Dallas, losing 34-9. Seattle is another team that just can’t put together any offense to outscore opponents that their defense fails to stop on a regular basis. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had a decent day, but failed to throw a touchdown pass and the offense stalled three times to settle for field goals. WIth the Hawks defense in its current state, that just won’t get the job done.

Looking Forward:

Seattle welcomes New England at Qwest Field on Sunday. Good luck. New England, after suffering back to back losses at home to the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patroits have to be salivating to hit the road against the team that gives up a lot of points. Is there anything the Seahawks can do to avoid losing their 11th game of the season? No, not unless they pray and hope the Patriots bus driver gets lost on the way to the stadium Sunday afternoon.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Next Cardinals Game Full schedule »
Sunday, Oct 55 Oct2:05at Denver BroncosBuy Tickets

comments powered by Disqus