The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their Week 4 action on Thursday, which meant we got to kick back and enjoy all sorts of Sunday football. There were certain aspects of the day I did not enjoy, but enough wild finishes made for a fun day of football. More importantly, there were numerous implications impacting the 49ers.
What a day for the NFC West. After the 49ers defeated the Rams, Sunday saw the Seattle Seahawks travel to face the Houston Texans, and the Arizona Cardinals travel to to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seahawks were slim favorites in Houston, while the Cardinals were slim underdogs against the Bucs. Both teams won, with a pair of wild finishes.
The Seahawks looked to be trouble early, trailing 20-3 at halftime. The Texans offense was gashing the Seahawks in all manner of ways. Arian Foster and Ben Tate were looking sharp, and Matt Schaub was picking apart the Seahawks secondary. Then the Seahawks went into the locker room at halftime and made some killer adjustments.
I only caught bits and pieces of the game, but the Seahawks figured something out quite well come the fourth quarter. Their defense tightened up considerably, and then it was almost like they sat and waited for the Texans to blow the game. After Marshawn Lynch cut the lead to 20-13, Matt Schaub threw a pick six to Richard Sherman on a rather poor decision. Sherman made a great play on the ball, but Schaub deserves plenty of blame for not taking the sack.
All that being said, as soon as Lynch cut the lead to 20-13, I had that feeling the Seahawks were going to complete the comeback. It took well into overtime to do it, but they figured out a way to improve to 4-0 for the first time in franchise history. They remain two games up on the 49ers heading into an interesting stretch. The Seahawks travel to face the Indianapolis Colts, then host Tennessee, and travel to Arizona and St. Louis. The 49ers host the Texans and then the Arizona Cardinals, then travel to Tennessee and then London to face the Jaguars.
The Arizona Cardinals have quietly gotten off to a 2-2 start, which is more impressive because they opened the season with three road games in four weeks. They were crushed last week in New Orleans, but they won at home against Detroit and at Tampa Bay, and lost a very winnable game against the Rams.
The Cardinals can thank Mike Glennon and the Bucs play-calling to some extent. The Bucs led 10-0, and even after a Cardinals field goal cut it to 10-3, the Cardinals offense still seemed dead in the water. And then Mike Glennon happened. On 2nd and 6 at his own 11, Glennon threw an interception to Patrick Peterson. On the ensuing play, Carson Palmer connected with Larry Fitzgerald to tie the game. The Bucs went three and out on their next possession, the Cardinals secured a field goal, and it was over.
The Cardinals are tied with the 49ers at 2-2, but the 49ers are obviously the better team. That being said, the Cardinals are not going to be a tough out for anybody in the division. The 49ers and Seahawks both need to win both games against the Cardinals, and realistically should, but these games will not be easy, particularly in Glendale. The Cardinals are just good enough to be dangerous, so the 49ers will need to be careful when they host Arizona in two weeks.
Chefs Watch 2013
Well then, how about them Kansas City Chiefs? The Chiefs rolled off their fourth straight win, which gets them halfway to the needed eight wins to move that third round pick up into the second round!
The Chiefs got off to a bit of a slow start against the New York Giants on Sunday, but they pulled away in the second half, winning 31-7. I don't know how many expected such a wide margin of victory, but the Giants are clearly a baaaaad team right now. Credit to the Chiefs for handling their business, but the Giants are no good.
And that's what makes this Chiefs team a little more interesting. They are clearly improved with Andy Reid and Alex Smith. However, just how good are they? You can only beat who's on your schedule but what happens when they go to Denver in Week 11? They have a strong defense, but will it be enough at Mile High?
The San Diego Chargers are two games back of the Chiefs and Broncos, and at this point it seems like the Chiefs and Broncos will be battling for divisional supremacy. If you look at the Chiefs schedule, it is entirely possible they are 9-0 when they head to Denver. They travel to Tennessee next week, then play the Raiders, Texans and Browns at home, then travel to Buffalo before their bye week. Sure anything can happen on any given Sunday, but it is entirely reasonable to think the Chiefs could run off five more wins.