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49ers reclaim first place in NFC West standings

Three more games

The 49ers played the game of the year Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The win put them at 11-2 and silenced that last few who thought the 49ers couldn’t win it all.

At this moment, the 49ers sit at first place in the NFC and in the NFC West. That could change. They have three more games, and none of them are gimmes. All of them are difficult, and there’s no telling what can happen to the team in this span. Right now, they sit very well. Let’s look at it.

Arizona Cardinals (3-9-1)

The Cardinals went up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in what was a very entertaining game. It wasn’t clean; it was some of the sloppiest football any of us have been subjected to at this point in the season, but it was still good TV for those of who watched it.

Kyler Murray went 20 for 30, but 194 yards. That just doesn’t sound good at all. His passer rating was 67.2, just a bit over half of another NFC West quarterback put up today.

The Cardinals are eliminated from playoff contention, so it’s all about what they have for 2020. Right now, it’s not much. This isn’t a fault of Kliff Kingsbury, either. The Cardinals just will need some time to turn things around. It’s tough to say if this air raid offense will work in the NFL, but it’s had some good moments. It will need another year. If it can’t turn around, Steve Keim might be the one filing for unemployment.

Los Angeles Rams (8-5)/Seattle Seahawks (10-2)

The Rams managed to get a sizable lead to start their game on Sunday Night Football and the Seahawks. From there, they kept the Seahawks from coming back. I already gushed praise on the Rams here, and I think the party is still going on this morning if you want to hop on in.

The Rams are now in the playoff race. Had the Rams lost yesterday, the 49ers would have clinched a playoff spot. Thankfully that has not happened.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks wait to see the status of running back Rashaad Penny. Penny went down early in the game, and if he’s out for any period, it’s a huge loss.

Into Week 15

If you thought this was the last believable game for the Seahawks to lose, you haven’t seen next week. The Seahawks travel to face the Carolina Panthers. It might sound far fetched, but given it’s on the road, the Panthers COULD win that game. If they can, it would give some good cushioning for the 49ers in case the Rams cause them problems in two weeks (provided the 49ers beat the Atlanta Falcons).

The Cardinals have the Cleveland Browns coming to town. For anyone excited for that one.

1st: San Francisco 49ers; Next: vs. Atlanta Falcons

2nd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: at Carolina Panthers

3rd: Los Angeles Rams; Next: at Dallas Cowboys

4th [Eliminated]: Arizona Cardinals; Next: vs. Cleveland Browns