As the NFL season rolls into Week 6, one would be inclined to believe the NFC West is a tightly contested division. Judging by the four teams’ records, who could argue that? Wins are tough to come by in this league, but not all are created equal.
NFC West point differentials:— Jason Aponte (@JasonAponte2103) October 11, 2022
49ers: + 47
Rams: - 36
Cardinals: - 18
Seahawks: - 27
San Francisco 49ers: 3-2, @ Atlanta, vs. Kansas City, @ Rams
Two straight victories have changed the mood around the 49ers, but as usual, injury concerns have led the conversation this week. Nick Bosa, Jimmie Ward, and Robbie Gould all suffered injuries in the win over Carolina. Emmanuel Moseley lost his season to a torn ACL. Bosa’s injury doesn’t sound as serious as the others, but a groin injury can linger. This week is a good chance for Bosa to heal up for the Kansas City showdown in two weeks.
The good news is Trent Williams, and Jason Verrett are close to returning to action. Verrett’s return is in the nick of time, with Moseley sidelined for the season. The depth of this roster is amazing, considering Verrett is the first option off the bench at cornerback. Ideally, you don’t want to test the depth this early, but all the same, it’s impressive.
Los Angeles Rams: 2-3, vs. Panthers, Bye Week, vs. 49ers
Let’s face it. The Rams have issues on both sides of the ball. The offensive line has suffered injury after injury. They lack a vertical threat on offense. The running back rotation still isn’t settled. Tyler Higbee is second in targets on the team. Allen Robinson is, um, still getting acclimated? Oh, and Matthew Stafford is banged up and not his usual self.
Nothing gets your team back on track like a matchup with the Carolina Panthers. That is, the coachless PJ Walker led Carolina Panthers. Fully expect the Rams to get back in the win column and head into the bye at 3-3. The Rams have their flaws, but that doesn’t mean this will be the same team down the stretch. Perhaps, OBJ returns. Van Jefferson can at least threaten defenses downfield, which may open up the passing attack.
The Rams have some things to figure out.
Arizona Cardinals: 2-3, @ Seattle, vs. New Orleans, @ Minnesota:
The Cardinals have found different ways to lose games this season. A blocked field goal is how the Eagles continued their undefeated opening to the season. The offense is playing better of late, but there seems to be something missing with this team.
Seattle presents a challenge to this Cardinals team. Divisional games are usually tightly contested. The Saints may have their starting QB and WRs back in two weeks. Minnesota has played solid football lately. The Cardinals have to tread lightly, or their season can unravel quickly.
Geno Smith has been incredible through five weeks. Smith has completed 70 plus percent of his throws, and he isn’t a checkdown charlie. His breakout season has been fun to watch. Funny enough, the only team to really hold down this Seattle offense was the 49ers. It’s literally the best offense they have faced.
The next three weeks will tell us where this team is headed. The issue becomes, will Smith help Seattle win enough games to keep them out of the running for a top QB in the NFL draft? Either way, good for Smith and his persistence.