Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams locked up the NFC West two weeks ago, and the rest of their schedule is a matter of settling their playoff seeding. The Rams had the edge in home field advantage after the New Orleans Saints lost to the Dallas Cowboys last week, but the Rams loss to the Chicago Bears has them tied with the Saints and behind on the head-to-head tiebeaker. Until the seeding is solidified, the Rams will continue to play their starters. Once all that is figured out, expect them to bench everyone.
The 49ers are tied with the Arizona Cardinals in the win/loss column and divisional record will help in the tiebreaker. Right now the 49ers sit in last place, but that can all change if they manage to win some games in this three-game final stretch.
Let’s see how everyone in the West did.
If you started the Detroit Lions as your defense in fantasy, you may have had a good day, as the Cardinals returned to earth after beating the Green Bay Packers. Josh Rosen threw a pick six among other things en route to a 17-3 drubbing. The Cardinals may not be the worse team in the league, but at times they make you wonder about it.
The loss doesn’t change much besides keep the Cardinals locked with the 49ers in the W/L totals.
Los Angeles Rams
Rams and Bears fans may have been put to sleep in what may have been perceived as a snoozefest. Make no mistake. Everything was off that game, but despite all the defense it was no snoozefest. Todd Gurley had the worst game of his career, Mitchell Trubisky had a glimpse of rookie Mitchell Trubisky and both defenses clamped down on any offense. Given how dynamic the Rams offense has been in recent weeks, this said more about the Bears than the Rams. Much like the 49ers going to a west coast offense, the Bears defense has gone back to their roots and returned to that strong defense that has long been their identity.
The Rams are tied with the Saints in wins, but have lost to the Saints, meaning if the season ended today, they would be the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. If you’re a Rams fan (which if you’re reading this blog, you might be) you’d be wanting the Saints to start losing, because if you roll into the playoffs with a tie, you’re not getting that No. 1 seed.
Speaking of snoozefests, the Seattle Seahawks went retro and brought back the defense of earlier times in their 21-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Most of these points were scored late. Three points is all that shows up for three quarters until urgency hit while the fourth quarter was underway.
Kirk Cousins wasn’t much help either. In fact, if I’m a 49ers fan, I’m feeling reallllly good about Jimmy Garoppolo taking the spot reserved for Cousins.
The win has the Seahawks at the top of the Wild Card race with an 8-5 record. They are a game-and-a-half up on the Vikings, and two games up on three 6-7 teams. The West doesn’t matter to them as it is just winning to get in.
Into Week 15
The Rams will continue looking for wins as long as there’s a chance to get that first round playoff seeding from the Saints. They face the Philadelphia Eagles this week. Once the wins don’t matter, expect the backups to step in.
The Seahawks can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the 49ers in Week 15. They hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Carolina, and would be guaranteed a better conference record than Philadelphia and Washington.
The Cardinals go up against the Atlanta Falcons. That is a winnable game. Right now the 49ers and Cardinals are tied in strength of schedule. Over the final three weeks, the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, and Washington will decide the difference if the two teams lose out.
1st: Los Angeles Rams; Next: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
2nd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: at San Francisco 49ers
3rd: Arizona Cardinals; Next: at Atlanta Falcons
4th: San Francisco 49ers; Next: vs. Seattle Seahawks