After a quick Thursday Night Football start to the week, the rest of week ten is at hand. For the NFC West, it provides another chance for the 49ers to get in a position to clinch the division in week 11. The 49ers have to handle their own business against the New York Giants, but if they can get that victory, we can only hope the NFC West remains as accommodating this week as they have been most of the season.
The most "winnable" game for the NFC West features the St. Louis Rams traveling to Cleveland to face the Browns. The Rams lost a heart-breaker to the Arizona Cardinals last week on a Patrick Peterson punt return for a touchdown in overtime. The Rams have Sam Bradford back in the saddle for the second week in a row, so he will be looking to get further on track. It was not exactly an offensive explosion in Arizona. I think the Rams get the win in part because Steven Jackson can get them there, and in part because the Browns offensive attack is fairly decimated. They are down to a practice squad running back in Chris Ogbonnaya starting for them.
The "second place" Seattle Seahawks host the Baltimore Ravens a week after the Seahawks were handled in Dallas and the Ravens won an emotional one over the Pittsburgh Steelers. On the one hand I could see an emotional letdown costing Baltimore. On the other hand, it's possible they got over the hump and are ready to take the next step to becoming a fairly dominant team. I really have no idea what to expect in part because Joe Flacco remains a big mystery.
The Arizona Cardinals travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles in a game that would seem to be the least winnable for the NFC West. The Eagles did lose in Chicago, but I just can't see them losing at home to the Cardinals. Crazier things have happened, but I'm not holding my breath. The Cardinals pulled off the late win over St. Louis thanks to Patrick Peterson, but up until that point they looked awful.
For the 49ers, it's all about beating the New York Giants. There are other games with playoff seeding implications (Falcons-Saints), but for San Francisco, if they can just keep on winning everything will fall into place as needed. That's not to say I wouldn't mind the NFC West making life easier, but the 49ers are in firm control to take care of their business.