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The Seahawks got this week off to rest and recover and it’s hard to imagine Sunday’s results going any better for them than they did. Meanwhile, the Cards continue to roll, the Rams hit a speed-bump and the 49ers have fallen off hard after making the Super Bowl two years ago.
Here’s a review of what happened in the NFC West this week.
Cardinals (8-1) beat 49ers (3-5), 31-17
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No Kyler Murray, no DeAndre Hopkins, no A.J. Green, no J.J. Watt, no problem. Arizona got a sharp performance from backup QB Colt McCoy (22/26, 249 yards, one touchdown) and two scores from running back James Connor in what might be their most convincing win yet this season. Defensively, Jordan Hicks led the way with eight tackles and two fumble recoveries.
The Cardinals host the struggling Panthers next, followed by the Seahawks.
Rams (7-2) lost to Titans (7-2), 28-16
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The Rams got a rare off-game from Matt Stafford on Sunday night against the Titans. Things got off track when Stafford threw two interceptions in 30 seconds, including a pick-six to Kevin Byard. Stafford also took five sacks and was hit 11 times, finishing with a dismal 17.6 QBR. This loss shouldn’t be too concerning, though. Tennessee is clearly a real contender even without Derrick Henry and LA will have Von Miller in the lineup soon.
The Rams visit the 49ers next.
Seahawks (3-5) won their bye week
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Seattle not only got an extra week of recovery for Russell Wilson and Chris Carson, but pretty much every other team in the hunt for a wild-card spot in the NFC lost this week, including the Saints, Panthers, Vikings and Eagles.
The Seahawks visit the Packers this week.
49ers (3-5) feeling heat
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Kyle Shanahan might be the most briliant offensive playcaller in the NFL, but there’s a lot more to being a head coach than that and San Francisco’s trip to the Super Bowl is starting to look like a fluke. Not being able to beat Arizona despite all the pieces they were missing is a serious red flag, anyway. While the Niners should be encouraged by George Kittle’s return and Brandon Aiyuk’s reemergence, overall this team has fallen short of expectations, especially on defense. They simply have too much talent to continue floundering like this.
The organization will likely give Shanahan at least a full season with Trey Lance at QB, but if things aren’t looking up by this time next year he might have to worry about his seat getting hot.