NFC West Standings after the first quarter of the 2023 season

The Arizona Cardinals and the NFC West don’t look as expected given a couple of surprises in the season’s early going.
Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Owens/GettyImages

I say “after the first quarter.” But with 17 games these days, it’s really after the first 23.5% of the season has been played, so forgive me because I like to round up. Anyway, the Arizona Cardinals currently sit at 1-3, and predictably, last in the NFC West. However, even the Redbirds have enjoyed some success early, just like their peers in the division.

While everyone saw the Cards clocking in at fourth place in the West, it was easy to slot them in at 0-4 instead of 1-3. Further, few had them snagging that one win vs. the Cowboys, so this fourth-place, 1-3 record isn’t as poor as the consensus assumed when the season kicked off last month. 

The Los Angeles Rams, however, have been a surprise, despite their own weaker roster. Coming in at 2-2, the Rams scored an upset, three-possession win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1, before they dropped their next contest to the San Francisco 49ers by seven points. Following a narrow loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Rams returned to the W column after a thriller against the Indianapolis Colts. 

Arizona Cardinals still hanging tough vs. the NFC West

The loss to the Rams is the only blemish on the Seahawks record, and they won their own overtime thriller in a 37-31 epic in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. Seattle then beat the Carolina Panthers, before they blew out the New York Giants on Monday Night. 

Finally, you have the San Francisco 49ers, who have just dominated everyone they played and now sit at 4-0. They crushed Pittsburgh in Week 1, before the Rams gave them some trouble for a half. The Giants got within five points in Week 3, before the Niners pulled away, which happened to be the same scenario when the Cardinals rolled into Santa Clara last week. 

Overall, the NFC West is on schedule to end the season as predicted if the final three quarters of the year mirror what we saw through the first four weeks. But if the Arizona Cardinals keep the games interesting, they will be worth following regardless of where they park themselves in the standings.


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)