The NFC West went through absolute chaos in Week 15. Where we all thought the division was settled in its current standings, some things were shaken up with the San Francisco 49ers hanging on and beating the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams losing to the Philadelphia Eagles.
So where are the 49ers in all of this? Why they are no longer in last place! The Seahawks win vaults them to third place in the division. Silver linings folks, silver linings.
Let’s look at how it all went down.
We’ll start with the obvious: The Cardinals stink. The only teams they can manage to beat are the San Francisco 49ers and the, uh, Green Bay Packers. They got curb-stomped by the Atlanta Falcons this weekend to the tune of 40-14 and right now are sitting with the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Just having them get Nick Bosa may make your skin crawl, but they have a lot of needs on both sides of the ball and Nick Bosa isn’t going to fix all of them.
The Cardinals face the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams, so expecting them to win another game in 2019 is probably wishful thinking at best.
Los Angeles Rams
This is where it gets interesting. The Los Angeles Rams were playing for playoff seeding in their game against the Philadelphia Eagles. A game where they just looked off for lack of a better word. The Rams lost 30-23 and while they looked like a playoff team, they sure didn’t look like a Super Bowl team.
The Rams share a tie in win/loss with the New Orleans Saints and even if the Saints lose on Monday Night Football, they still win the tiebreaker since the Rams lost to them a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears beat the Green Bay Packers and are one win back from the Rams. If the Bears manage to tie things up in the next couple of weeks, they would win the tiebreaker for playoff seeding since the Rams got embarrassed by that Bears defense last week.
The Rams pushed all their chips in for 2018 and now things have gotten much, much more difficult with that Philadelphia loss.
Unless the Seahawks were to lose out, they are all but going to the playoffs. The fun part is, with their loss to the 49ers, they have been delayed, and things are no longer guaranteed. The Seahawks now have the Kansas City Chiefs coming to CenturyLink Field, a tough matchup to say the least. The Chiefs just lost an ugly game to the Los Angeles Chargers and they are none too happy about it. They may take their frustrations out on the Seahawks and delay this playoff thing a bit further.
Regardless of delays, the 49ers at least didn’t open the door for the Seahawks. Take great pride in that.
Into Week 16
The Rams now find themselves fighting for seeding in the playoffs and given how everything is working out, they might be playing their first stringers against the 49ers rather than their backups in order to secure that bye. If Chicago catches up, it’s going to be even more crucial.
The Rams next opponent to do such a thing? The Cardinals. Don’t go hoping for an Arizona win on that front. The Seahawks have the Chiefs, which should be a fun game to behold and hopefully an additional delay for their playoff chances. And of course, the 49ers host the Bears in their home finale in a game that means plenty for all parties involved.
1st: Los Angeles Rams; Next: at Arizona Cardinals
2nd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
3rd: San Francisco 49ers; Next: vs. Chicago Bears
4th: Arizona Cardinals; Next: vs. Los Angeles Rams