Week 5 went about as well as you could ask when the 49ers won and the rest of the NFC West lost. This past week, Seattle beat Arizona, the Rams won, and the Niners lost. So let’s recap what happened in the division.
San Francisco 49ers: 3-3 vs. Chiefs, @ Rams, BYE
Injuries certainly played a part in Sunday’s loss especially considering Mike McGlinchey, Mooney Ward, Talanoa Hufanga, and Samson Ebukam all left the game for various stretches.
The larger issue lies with the offense and their lack of explosive plays. Considering how depleted the 49ers’ defense was in this game, the result isn’t nearly as concerning. It seems after each loss this season, the same questions arise.
What’s the issue? Is it playcalling? Is Shanahan’s scheme outdated? I’m inclined to lean no answering these questions. Sure, the 49ers lacked urgency being down two scores in the fourth quarter. It boils down to execution and consistency. If it’s not a penalty negating a large gain, it’s a drop or missed block. The questions are unlikely to quiet down as the Chiefs roll into Levi’s Stadium.
Simply put, this defense will be fine and has reinforcements on the way. It’s up to the offense to put it together and pick the defense up in games they aren’t dominating. We keep hearing the offense is “close” or “about to turn the corner.” No time like the present, as Week 7 brings the biggest challenge for the 49ers.
Los Angeles Rams: 3-3, BYE, vs. 49ers, @ Tampa Bay
The Rams took care of the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Matthew Stafford threw a pick-six that was the only Panthers touchdown. PJ Walker walked into a no win-situation given the circumstances. New coach, Robbie Anderson was sent to the locker room and shortly after to the Arizona Cardinals.
Joe Noteboom was lost to a season-ending injury. Cam Akers and the Rams have agreed to seek trade partners and move on. Van Jefferson will likely return this week which could be the deep threat this offense needs. The bye week is a perfect time for a team with many questions.
Seattle Seahawks: 3-3, @ Chargers, vs. Giants, @ Arizona
Don’t look now. The Seattle Seahawks have the most points in the NFC West. Just how we all figured would happen to start the season. Geno Smith has kept up his fine play, and Kenneth Walker stepped in for Rashaad Penny to keep the running game going. This season could be Pete Carroll’s best coaching job considering the low expectations for this team and offense.
Tariq Woolen has been a revelation at cornerback. He has four straight games with an interception. Woolen has two fumble recoveries in consecutive weeks. His nose for the ball is evident. Safe to say, Seattle hit on this draft pick.
Seattle handled Arizona and now heads to LA to face a Chargers team coming off a victory over Denver.
Arizona Cardinals: 2-4, vs. Saints (TNF), @ Vikings, vs. Seahawks
Yikes. Where to start with this team? Marquise Brown avoided a season-ending injury in Seattle. Robbie Anderson is on his way, as is Deandre Hopkins. Will this fix the Cardinals’ offense and poor play? No. Far too many turnovers, penalties, and mistakes won’t be masked by the return of Hopkins. This is an undisciplined team.
Arizona’s season hangs in the balance. The Saints may see their starting QB and WR return for TNF. The Vikings have been a surprise team in the NFC. Seattle continues to give Arizona fits. If this continues, the Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray marriage may dissolve quickly.