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Every NFC West team looked like a contender after the division went 4-0 back in Week 1. Now four weeks into the season, we’re starting to get a better idea of where the real power lies around these parts.
Here’s what happened around the division in Week 3.
Cards (3-0) beat Jaguars (0-3), 31-19
[Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Afte posting video game numbers the first two weeks, Kyler Murray was held to only one rushing touchdown against the Jaguars. Star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was quiet, but A.J. Green and Christian Kirk more than picked up the slack, combining for 216 receiving yards. https://twitter.com/PFN365/status/1442211187597328387 Defensively, Jordan Hicks had another quietly dominant game, leading the team with 12 tackles. Arizona currently leads the league in DVOA. However, Cards fans shouldn't start preparing a Super Bowl parade just yet. We'll see how good they really are this week when they visit the Rams.
Rams (3-0) beat Buccaneers (2-1), 34-24
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
To be the man, you gotta beat the man. The Rams did exactly that on Sunday, defeating the reigning Super Bowl champs by 10 points. Matt Stafford finally outdueled Tom Brady, totaling four more touchdown passes and a 134.0 passer rating. DeSean Jackson and Cooper Kupp helped the most, posting 216 yards and three scores between them. https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1442249910376566793 On the other side of the ball, LA totally shut down Tampa's run game and Brady wound up leading them with 14 yards on the ground. As promising as the Cards look, our gut says the Rams' formula is more sustainable over the course of a full season. LA ranks fourth in DVOA and can claim sole possession of first place with a Week 4 win.
49ers (2-1) lost to Packers (2-1), 30-28
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
The 49ers fell into a big hole early in this one and were trailing 17-0 at one point. They mounted an impressive comeback in a hostile environment though, and it took a vintage clutch drive from Aaron Rodgers and a last-second field goal by Mason Crosby to beat them. The team's stud tight end George Kittle (seven catches, 92 yards) finally got going, but San Francisco's offense is still only averaging 4.5 yards per play in their last two games. https://twitter.com/IKE_Packers/status/1442325711323156480 Looking ahead, opponents should expect to see more of Trey Lance, especially in the red zone. The Niners host the Seahawks next.
Seahawks (1-2) lost to Vikings (1-2), 30-17
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
There were some silver linings here, including Russell Wilson's connection with his tight ends and D.K. Metcalf and Chris Carson's resurgence. Mostly this was a bummer in every conceivable way, though. Seattle's offense completely imploded in the second half for the third straight week. Worse, on defense they can't stop the run, can't get to the QB and can't cover quality receivers - a bad combination. Heading into Week 4, the Seahawks have allowed more yards per game (440.3) than any other team. [vertical-gallery id=75784]