The 2018 NFL regular season has concluded, which means we have final NFC West standings. The Los Angeles Rams won the division a few weeks ago, and the Seattle Seahawks locked up second place shortly after. However, the battle for the cellar came down to the final week as the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals were locked in a battle of mediocrity!
The 49ers loss to the Rams didn’t do anything significant but solidify draft positioning at second overall. After a brutal start for the 49ers featuring turnovers on the first three drives and four of the first five drives, the Rams took a lead and sent the backups in. This led to the 49ers some garbage time touchdowns.
The win for the Rams gives them the coveted No. 2 seed and a first round bye. The 49ers had one shining moment in George Kittle getting the record for most receiving yards by a tight end. Other than that they are out of 2018 and have time to heal for 2019 and the return of Jimmy Garoppolo. The good news? They finished in third place within the division.
While Kittle was setting records, the Cardinals were trying to get their own record: the first road team to win four straight games at CenturyLink Field against the Seahawks. They gave the Seahawks a game. A game that behind the scenes, I was preparing a post for the 49ers having the first pick in the draft if the Cardinals could hold on. Unfortunately, a Seahawks fumble returned for a touchdown by the Cardinals was nullified by a strange Doug Baldwin penalty and things unravelled up to Sebastian Janikowski hitting a buzzer-beater field goal to give the Seahawks the win.
The win gives the Seahawks the No. 5 seed and they head to Jerry World to play the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round. The loss gives the Cardinals last place in the division and full control of the 2019 NFL Draft board with the No. 1 overall pick. A lot you will assume it’s Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa going to Arizona and that’s it, but there’s a long ways to go until that happens.
Into the wild card
The Seahawks will play the Cowboys on the road. As we all know, the Seahawks are a very different team on the road, so this should be interesting. The Rams meanwhile will take the week off with a bye. They will face the better-ranked seed from wild card weekend in Los Angeles.
As for the 49ers and the Cardinals The two worst teams in the league came from the NFC West. But the 49ers were not the worst team in the league. Take that into the new year.
1st: Los Angeles Rams; Next: BYE
2nd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: at Dallas Cowboys
3rd: San Francisco 49ers; Next: No. 2 pick in NFL Draft
4th: Arizona Cardinals; Next: No. 1 pick in NFL Draft