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NFC West roundup: Rams take over top spot in the division

The 49ers will be tied for the final NFC playoff spot if they beat the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Week 13 of the NFL season has been a good one so far for the San Francisco 49ers.

The Niners gained ground in the NFC playoff race without taking the field. San Francisco is 5-6 and sits just one win behind the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals in the standings. The 49ers will play the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football and have an opportunity to get back to .500 on the season.

It was an eventful Sunday in the NFC West. Here is how the Niners’ division rivals did in Week 13 of the NFL season.

Los Angeles Rams (8-4) defeated the Arizona Cardinals 38-28

The Rams were in control throughout the game and beat the Cardinals for the seventh-straight time. Quarterback Jared Goff rebounded from an ugly outing against San Francisco last week, going 37-of-47 for 351 yards and a touchdown. L.A.’s dynamic-duo of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp torched Arizona with 18 receptions for 153 yards. The Rams’ defense was impressive as well, holding the No. 2 ranked Cardinals’ offense to just 232 yards. L.A.’s game plan was similar to how the Cardinals’ recent opponents have played them. They blitzed Kyler Murray often and were bringing extra pressure to the right side of the line. The defense also produced a touchdown for the second week in a row when Troy Hill had a pick-six in the fourth quarter. The Rams are 8-2 against the NFC with both of their losses coming against San Francisco. With the win, L.A. sits in first place in the division.

Next three games: vs. New England Patriots (TNF), vs. New York Jets, @ Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks (8-4) lost 17-12 to the New York Giants

The G-Men shut down Seattle’s high-powered offense, holding the Seahawks to 327 total yards. Quarterback Russell Wilson struggled through the first three quarters before orchestrating Seattle’s lone touchdown drive, which came with just over six minutes left in the fourth. The Seahawk’s porous defense couldn’t contain Giants’ running back Wayne Gallman, who finished the game with 16 carries for 135 yards, averaging 8.4 yards per attempt. Pete Carroll’s team has crashed back down to earth after winning its first five games. Seattle is 3-4 over its last seven and fell into second place in the division behind the Rams by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker. The silver-lining for the Seahawks is that they have an excellent opportunity to get back on track when they host the 0-12 New York Jets in Week 14.

Next three games: vs. Jets, @ Washington Football Team, vs. Rams

Arizona Cardinals (6-6) lost 38-28 to the Rams

The Cardinals fell out of a wild card spot with their loss to the Rams. Arizona has lost three in a row and four out of its last five games. Opposing defenses are starting to figure out how to contain Kyler Murray by blitzing him more often and forcing the second-year QB out of his comfort zone. Murray ran for just 15 yards against L.A., matching his lowest total of the season, while All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins was held to under 60 yards receiving for the third consecutive game. Arizona’s defense was lit up by the Rams’ play-action heavy scheme for 463 total yards. The Cardinals desperately miss pass-rushing specialist Chandler Jones. Arizona managed just one sack on Goff and finds itself reeling going into the final quarter of the season.

Next three games: @ Giants, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, vs. 49ers

Which team do you think will win the division?