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We break down the NFC West's strong performance to date and what it means moving forward.
I realize we are only six weeks into the NFL season, but it still entertains me to no end that the NFC West currently owns the best record among the eight division. Through six weeks, the NFC West has a record 15-9, and a Cardinals media person pointed out a great number:
There are more teams with winning records in the NFC West (3) than the entire AFC (2)— MarkDalton (@CardsMarkD) October 16, 2012
While all four teams have had some inconsistencies along the way this year, they have all shown strengths that could put the division in position to send multiple teams to the playoffs for the first time since the Rams and Seahawks went i 2003 and 2004.
The 49ers face a huge stretch over the next three games as they face three straight divisional opponents. I discussed it briefly in the video below (give it a watch!), but figured it was a topic worth pulling out. The 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks this Thursday, then travel to the Arizona Cardinals for a Week 8 Monday Night Football matchup. They will follow that up with a bye week and then a Week 10 home game against the St. Louis Rams.
Jim Harbaugh talks about how the most important game is the next one. However, I think we can say with some confidence that this three-game is as important as any stretch this season.The NFC West is looking like a real, honest-to-goodness divisional race this year, so division wins are critical.
The NFC West is no joke this year, and the primary reason for it is strong defense. The four NFC West teams all rank in the top six for fewest points allowed. All four teams have had issues at times on offense, but all four defenses have brought some serious performances to the table.
The 49ers are the only team to not play any divisional matchups thus far. Although in "last place", the Rams have an edge with a 2-0 record. Of course, nobody has won a road divisional game so that could prove to be the difference-maker this season.