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3-way tie for first place in the NFC West

And the Cardinals are...well, whatever

The San Francisco 49ers finished off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an exciting, but penalty-laden game on Sunday putting them at 1-0 to start the season. This is the first time they have started at 1-0 since 2016 under Chip Kelly. This puts them into a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. Now that all four teams in the division are finished let’s look at everything.

Seattle Seahawks

The Cincinnati Bengals came to Seattle to face the Seahawks and what was expected to be an ugly game turned into Seattle getting out of Century Link by the skin of their teeth. Final score: 21-20, Hawks. The Seahawks trailed going into the fourth quarter then that Seahawk luck we all can’t stand made itself apparent with a 44-yard strike from Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett. This win was done after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had a career day going 35-51, 418 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bengals shut things down in the third quarter, getting inside the 35-yard line three times and being unable to produce a touchdown from any of them. So the Hawks win at home, but the Bengals brought it. The 49ers go to Cincinnati for Week 2 and all of a sudden that game looks very tough.

Los Angeles Rams

Let’s start with the really odd, but expected part: Todd Gurley wasn’t doing much at all. Constantly on goal-line carries, he was getting shelved in favor of Malcolm Brown. This was expected since his knee injury indicated he couldn’t be used near as much as in the past, but still strange. The Rams got off to an early lead until the middle of the third quarter when the Panthers turned things up. Much like the Seahawks, the Rams got out with a win, but it was by the skin of their teeth, as the Panthers were creeping up. Given the Panthers’ offensive issues as of late and the final score of 30-27, Rams, one has to wonder if this might be highlighting a larger problem. But a win is a win is a win. The Rams go to 1-0, and it’s Week 1.

Still, something seemed off from the NFC Champs.

Arizona Cardinals

One has to wonder if Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia will be fired after this mess. Going into the fourth quarter, the cardinals were sitting in the hole with a 24-6 deficit and a rookie quarterback in Kyler Murray having his welcome to the NFL moment. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals managed to tie the score up and force overtime.

And despite both teams getting a field goal in overtime, neither could get a win. So the Lions blew an 18-point lead to walk away with a tie. The Lions looked just OK until unraveling, but the Cardinals looked bad until the comeback. We’ll see how the Kliff Kingsbury offense does next week. In his debut, Murray finished 29-54 (53.7 completion percentage) 308 yards, two touchdowns to one interception.

Into Week 2

It’s a 3-way tie in the NFC West. Arizona couldn’t just lose, but they tie, giving them what can be best described as half a win. The Cardinals will be going to Maryland to take on the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have been red-hot in Week 1, but when you realize the team they stomped was the Miami Dolphins, you suddenly wonder just how impressive the win was.

The Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers who got crushed by the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Ben Roethlisberger looked very erratic.

There’s a rematch of the NFC Championship with the Rams taking on the New Orleans Saints. That should be a game to watch. Why it’s not the Sunday Night game, we may never know.

T-1st: Los Angeles Rams; Next: at New Orleans Saints
T-1st: San Francisco 49ers; Next: at Cincinnati Bengals
T-1st: Seattle Seahawks; Next: at Pittsburgh Steelers
2nd: Arizona Cardinals; Next: at Baltimore Ravens