Like last season, the so-called NFC-West favorites have not fared well so far. This time it's the Rams, who are without a victory after week four and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better looking forward. Their next three games are: at Dallas, at Green Bay and vs. the Saints. Looks like my 0-6 prediction from last week is becoming an 0-7 prediction.
The Cardinals lost a game they should have won. Yes, they had a tough call go against them, but even with a call going against you there is no excuse to giving up 21 points in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks just aren't very good. Besides the Tarvaris Jackson to Sidney RIce connection, they don't have much going for them.
Let's take a closer look at these teams after the jump. Yes, we have to. Please? I promise I won't make any more Chuck Testa references. If you know what I'm talking about kudos to you. You read my last article...at least until that point.
Poor Sam Bradford. He's completing less than 50% of his passes this season. He has no real playmakers at the receiver or tight end position. The offensive line has taken a step back and their schedule has been (and will continue to be) brutal to this point.
I guess I'll start with the good news. The Rams greatly improved their pass defense after being torched the week before. Unfortunately, they were absolutely demolished by the Redskins running game. They gave up 196 yards on the ground and the Redskins averaged 4.9 yards per carry, which allowed the Redskins to dominate the time of possession: 35:10 to 24:50.
Offensively, it was a forgettable day for Bradford. He completed just 20 of 43 passes and averaged just 3.8 yards per attempt. I don't think this is what the Rams had in mind when they brought Josh McDaniels in to be their offensive coordinator. Their running game also never got going, with Steven Jackson gaining just 45 yards on 27 attempts. Overall they averaged just 2.6 yards per play. Yuck.
Like I said before, things will likely get worse before they get better for this team. It's pretty likely they will lose seven games before their first win. Even in the NFC West, that's going to be nearly impossible to overcome.
The Cardinals had a 20-10 lead going into the fourth quarter. They were ahead 27-17 with just under six minutes to go. Yes, they suffered from an awful call late in the game that could have cost them the victory, but they let it get to that point in the first place. Instead of making a stand on defense and forcing a field goal, they gave up a 29 yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks on the next play. Once again, their pass defense struggled, giving up over 300 yards passing to Eli Manning.
One of the positives the Cardinals can take from this game is the emergence of Beanie Wells. He rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He's finally playing up to his draft status this year. Kevin Kolb, on the other hand, struggled. He threw an interception in the fourth quarter (again) and finished the game with a QB Rating of 67.9.
Kevin Kolb has not shown the best decision making lately, especially late in games. It's definitely something to pay attention to moving forward. Next week, they have a game in Minnesota against the Vikings, who are still looking for their first win of the season. Note: That means Mike Singletary is also looking for his first win of the season. That should be a winnable game. They have a bye the next week, play the Steelers at home, and then travel to Baltimore.
The Seahawks might as well enter into the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes now, though they face some fierce competition in the Indianapolis Colts. Is it just me, or does the thought of Andrew Luck playing for Pete Carroll just seem wrong? Like I said earlier, the only thing the Seahawks have going for them right now is the play of Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin. Rice looks like he has regained his 2009 season form.
The Seahawks offense had by far their best performance of the year. They scored 28 points and gained 372 yards of total offense. Tarvaris Jackson had his most effective game of the season, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns, though he did have two interceptions. Former Stanford Cardinal Doug "why isn't he a 49er?" Baldwin lead the team in receiving with five receptions for 84 yards
After trailing 24-7 at the half, the Seahawks did a good job of making a game of it, and they outscored the Falcons 21-6 in the second half. One big problem they have had this year is getting Marshawn Lynch going. He has only gained 117 yards so far this season and is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. He had just 24 yards rushing yesterday, though a lot of that has to do with the Seahawks playing catch-up for most of the game. Overall, the Seahawks did well to make a game they weren't supposed to win interesting to the final whistle.
The Seahawks have some winnable games coming up. Next week they play against the Giants in New York, but after that they play the Browns at Cleveland and the Bengals at home. They have a pretty good chance of winning two of those games, especially if their offense can replicate Sunday's performance.