NFC West Week 1 review: A perfect start for a heavyweight division

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The Seahawks started their 2021 season on the right foot, earning a relatively-easy win over the Colts to start the year 1-0.

Unfortunately the rest of the NFC West kept pace, will all four teams earning a Week 1 victory. Here’s a recap of what went down around the division this past weekend.

Rams (1-0) beat Bears (0-1): 34-14

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No team got a bigger upgrade at quarterback this offseason than the Rams, who went from Jared Goff to Matthew Stafford thanks to a one-sided trade with the Lions. The distinction between the two was made abundantly clear early on as Stafford showcased his famously powerful cannon on this 67-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson. https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1437213409616048128 Stafford finished the game with three touchdowns, a near-perfect 156.1 passer rating and the second-highest EPA per dropback of his entire career. He was particularly lethal using play action. https://twitter.com/NextGenStats/status/1437261820494893056 Sean McVay was clearly being held back by his former quarterback. Now that he has that missing piece to the puzzle the Rams will probably be a serious playoff contender every year as long as Stafford, Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald remain healthy. Next up, LA visits the Colts.

Cardinals (1-0) crushed Titans (0-1): 38-13

Syndication: USA TODAY

Stafford isn't the only special athlete at quarterback in this division, of course. Now in his third year, Kyler Murray is starting to look awfully scary. Observe the spooky arm talent on this throw. https://twitter.com/theStevenRuiz/status/1437814594425262086 Murray posted five total scores against the Titans, with one coming on the ground and two each for DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. On defense, Chandler Jones completely wrecked Tennessee's game-plan, racking up five of his team's six sacks on Ryan Tannehill. https://twitter.com/AZCardinals/status/1437111719755583491 The Cardinals host the Vikings next week.

49ers (1-0) defeated Lions (0-1): 41-33

Syndication: Detroit Free Press

This one got more interesting than Kyle Shanahan would have liked. After falling behind 31-10 at halftime, Detroit rallied and made it a one-possession game. San Francisco held on but the win came at a high cost, as cornerback Jason Verett suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Starting running back Raheem Mostert is also out for the season with a knee injury. Thanks to exceptional coaching it never seems to matter who the 49ers put at this spot, though. This time around rookie Elijah Mitchell was the surprise star, posting 104 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. https://twitter.com/Coach_Yac/status/1437227076986212353 Speaking of rookies, Trey Lance did see the field for a few plays, throwing one five-yard score in the red zone. However, Jimmy Garoppolo still got the vast majority of the snaps. Next week the Niners visit the Eagles.

Seahawks (1-0) clobbered Colts (0-1), 28-16

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks' offense has drawn most of the media attention following an impressive showing in Indianapolis for Shane Waldron in his first game as a coordinator. It's only one game, but his scheme looks creative, balanced and modern where it matters. Waldron's heavy use of play action was especially promising. https://twitter.com/minakimes/status/1437395399661309960 Seattle's defensive line has also gotten a ton of credit for the pressure they put on Carson Wentz in the second half, and rightfully so. However, there were a couple of players on the back end who have gone somewhat overlooked. Free safety Quandre Diggs made several key run stops among his nine tackles and second-year linebacker Jordyn Brooks flashed in coverage. Overall, this defense looks much more like the potent one we saw in the second half of 2020 compared to the dud from the first. Obviously this is going to be a brutal division to compete in this season, but Seattle fans still have every reason to feel confident about their team's chances. The next test will be Tennessee at home. [vertical-gallery id=75230]

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