Arizona Cardinals: How the West Was Won – Week 5


The Cardinals were the only team to win this weekend, and the only team about .500 in the division

Lost in the shuffle that was the Cardinals dominating win over the Lions Sunday afternoon, all three other teams in the NFC West were in action later in the evening or earlier in the day.

The Seattle Seahawks managed to give up a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter to “Good Andy” Dalton who promptly took them into overtime and set up a field goal attempt which went in and the defending NFC Champions fell to 2-3 on the season. After the game many question the officiating, the offensive struggles to keep Russell Wilson upright (no QB has been sacked more), but the real key here is, the defense. No matter how opportunistic the defense is, and they were, they gave up 20 unanswered points, granted, to a very good Cincinnati team, but when it mattered the most, they couldn’t stop them.

The St. Louis Rams continued down the path of a punishing, opportunistic, full-pressure defense that has a floundering offense to work behind it. While St. Louis stayed with Green Bay and caused Aaron Rodgers to throw two picks at home for the first time since 2012, AND caused a fumble of the one-time-MVP, the team was still woefully inconsistent falling to 2-3 on the season as well, nestled up next to Seattle in the standings.

Finally, last night, in prime time, everyone got to witness the rebirth (?) of Colin Kaepernick and the San Franscisco offense. While the team has been terrible for weeks, and the opening week win seemed like a season ago, Kaepernick looked confident at times throwing the ball with some accuracy, but lost at other times, like taking a time out with 0:02 seconds remaining in the quarter. The 49ers are in full rebuilding mode and the contract extended to their QB may never be exercised fully after the team fell to 1-4 on the season, four games behind the Cardinals with the tiebreaker in place.

The west has always been a very tough division since the Seahawks and 49ers rose from the ashes with new regimes over the last five years, still, what Bruce Arians is doing with the Arizona Cardinals has taken the other teams aback. Seattle sacrificed its offensive line talent to acquire Jimmy Graham from New Orleans. San Francisco lost nearly a dozen players and dozens of Pro Bowls in its offseason purge and St. Louis can’t still find the right side of the W-L column, but then again, it never really could put up a crooked number for the amount of wins in a season.

The Cardinals have a two game lead over the Rams (who hold the tiebreaker) and the Seahawks (Week 10 is looming), they’ve been here before, and they lost it, here’s hoping a stretch with Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cleveland followed by a bye puts them in a good position for the post-bye matchup with the neon green birds up north.