Week two of the NFL season kicks off in just a few short hours and we've got NFC West games spread across the schedule with two morning games, an afternoon game and then a Monday Night Football game. The division is not won or lost in week two, but all four teams have a chance to make a statement. The 49ers are the only team playing at home, but you could argue the Cardinals have the "easiest" game on the schedule. Even still, it's a tough week for the division.
Nobody will run away with the division after two games, but Arizona and San Francisco can each put some ground between themselves and the rest of the division with victories. Considering how much turmoil there could be in divisional contests, every win outside the West is huge. And considering they're all underdogs, somewhat unexpected wins are all the more huge.
Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Redskins - 10:00am pacific
The Cardinals go on the road to face a Redskins team that got a strong outing from questionable QB Rex Grossman in defeating the New York Giants last week. The Cardinals won their opener as well, withstanding a record-setting outing from rookie QB Cam Newton. If the Cardinals don't batten down the hatches on their defense, they could be in for a world of hurt from Rex Grossman. While Rex can be wildly inconsistent, a poor defense could open the door for a big game. I actually think the Cardinals win a close game, but it's going to be a tough one.
Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers - 10:00am pacific
The Seahawks head to Heinz Field to battle the Pittsburgh Steelers in a matchup that could get ugly for Seattle. The Steelers are coming off a pretty epic beatdown at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens and will be looking to unload their frustration. The Seahawks scuffled for much of their opener against the 49ers but were starting to get the offense together in the second half before Ted Ginn quieted them. The Seahawks will need some manner of consistency (good consistent, not bad consistent) if Tarvaris Jackson is going to have any chance of making plays. I'd be stunned if the Seahawks keep this thing remotely close.
St. Louis Rams @ New York Giants - MNF
The Rams head to the New Meadowlands to face the Giants in primetime. Although the Rams hung close with the Eagles early on, things sort of fell apart as they suffered significant injuries to Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola, and saw Sam Bradford bang up his right index finger. Jackson has been trying to get ready for the game but his quad injury will likely keep him out, which means we get another week of Cadillac Williams. The Giants have been dealing with their own injuries and that makes this game all the more difficult to figure out. I think the Giants win this one, but much like the Arizona-Washington game, there are enough question marks in this game that I think it could be a tough one.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys - 1:00pm pacific
Our beloved 49ers host their long time rivals, the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon. This is a winnable game for the 49ers, but they'll have to step up their performance from last week. They defeated a weak Seahawks team that struggled at times to put one foot in front of the other. If the 49ers play against Dallas like they did last week prior to the two Ted Ginn returns, they'll find themselves in a world of trouble. Tony Romo has choked away several games, but if the Cowboys take a three possession lead, it really won't matter. I'm going to pick the 49ers in part because I think they can win this game and in part because I always pick the 49ers.
How do you see the NFC West looking after this weekend's action?