The San Francisco 49ers improved to 4-3 after a beatdown of the New England Patriots but remain in last place in the NFC West. The Niners still have work to do if they want to capture one of the seven playoff spots in the conference with four more divisional matchups left on the schedule.
The NFC West is the best division in football. The four teams are a combined 19-8 overall for a .704 win percentage, the best mark for any division after seven weeks of any NFL season since 1970, per ESPN Stats and Info.
San Francisco will be in tough over its next three games, with their opponents combining for a 14-4 record on the season. The good news is that the other teams in the division will also play a more challenging schedule in the coming weeks.
Seattle Seahawks (5-1) lost 37-34 to the Arizona Cardinals
The Seahawks lost for the first time this season in an entertaining Sunday Night Football matchup. Seattle’s offense is rolling with quarterback Russell Wilson in MVP form, but the defense remains the team’s weak link. Despite putting up 572 yards against the Cardinals, the Seahawks gave up 519 to Arizona’s offense. The unit has given up 2,875 total yards this season, the most of any team in NFL history through six games, per Elias Sports Bureau. All five of Seattle’s wins have come against teams that are .500 or worse (its .281 strength of victory is the worst out of the top 12 teams in the NFC), but their next four opponents all have winning records. The Seahawks will play some of the worst teams in the league from Week 12 through Week 15, but we should get a clearer idea if they’re a real contender over the next month.
Arizona Cardinals (5-2) beat the Seattle Seahawks 37-34
The Cardinals are one of the most improved teams in football. Quarterback Kyler Murray was dynamite against the Seahawks, going 34-of-48 for 360 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been a revelation for the offense. He had 10 receptions and a TD while also getting his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Despite missing leading pass rusher Chandler Jones, Arizona’s defense was able to get to Wilson often, getting 9 QB hits and 2 sacks. The Cardinals go into their bye week looking poised to get a playoff berth.
Los Angeles Rams beat the Chicago Bears 24-10
The Rams slapped around the Bears on Monday Night Football. Los Angeles’ defense dominated Nick Foles and the Chicago offense, holding the Bears to 279 total yards, including just 49 on the ground. The Rams are tied for third in the NFL in total sacks after bringing down Foles four times in Week 7. However, Los Angeles’ offense continues to be its Achilles heel. QB Jared Goff threw for 219 yards in the win against Chicago, averaging just 6.6 yards per attempt. The Rams have the second-toughest remaining strength of schedule — behind only the 49ers — which will get tougher after playing Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins this week. L.A. also have five division games left.
Next three weeks: @ Dolphins, vs. Seahawks, @ Buccaneers