Seven weeks of football is in the books. The NFC West has seen its share of shuffling around. This week, the 49ers were the only team in the west who suffered a defeat. The Rams were on a bye. Arizona took advantage of two Andy Dalton pick-sixes to win on TNF. The biggest surprise of all: The team up north.
Seattle Seahawks - 4-3, vs. Giants, @ Arizona, @ Tampa Bay
Rashaad Penny’s injury has given way to Kenneth Walker III’s breakout. Geno Smith is playing his best football ever. DK Metcalf suffered an injury that isn’t a season-ender, but he will miss time. That’s no small loss. Pete Carroll is putting on a coaching clinic this season. There’s an argument for this being the best job in his career.
Four hundred total yards on Sunday at SoFi against the Chargers is impressive. Marquise Goodwin even contributed two touchdowns. Nearly everyone scoffed at the Seahawks before the season began. It’s time to take notice of them.
The 5-1 Giants come to town on Sunday and will be a measuring stick for this team. Revenge will be on Geno Smith’s mind facing his former team.
Just when you thought Seattle was out of the way. Not so fast, my friends.
Los Angeles Rams - 3-3, vs. 49ers, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Arizona
The Rams did manage one loss during their bye week. The 49ers beat them for Christian McCaffrey’s services. Now, the 49ers return to the scene of last season’s NFC title game. McCaffrey returns after putting up 158 yards for the Panthers two weeks ago. Needing to right the ship expect the Rams to come out fired up.
Cam Akers has requested a trade out of town. The Rams still are struggling to find their identity on offense. Cooper Kupp continues to be the engine, but with no complimentary pieces contributing, can that formula push this team into the playoffs?
Did the bye week help this team figure it out? We’ll soon find out.
San Francisco 49ers - 3-4, @ Rams, BYE, vs. Chargers (MNF)
Coming off an embarrassing blowout loss to the Chiefs, the 49ers hope the Rams are another get-right opportunity. Let’s be clear, the loss to the Chiefs isn’t embarrassing. The fashion in which the 49ers lost is embarrassing.
Last season, the 49ers were in a similar spot facing the Rams on MNF, and it changed their season. Needing a shot in the arm offensively, Deebo Samuel moved into his wide-back role. The explosive plays returned.
Now, the 49ers are hoping McCaffrey can do the same thing. With limited touches on Sunday, McCaffrey flashed his potential in the offense. He’ll have a full week and will be a big part of this week’s game plan.
Going into the bye week with a 4-4 record would be ideal. Reinforcements will be getting healthier and up to speed. Take care of business Sunday; the bye week will be a chance to turn the corner for this team.
Arizona Cardinals - 3-4, @ Vikings, vs. Seattle, @ Rams
Deandre Hopkins returned on Thursday to the tune of 10 catches and 103 yards on 14 targets. Kyler Murray may have been angry with his coach. But, he certainly was happy to see Hopkins return.
Andy Dalton did everything in his power to help the Cardinals score. However, the 5-1 Vikings provide quite the challenge for Arizona. Two divisional games in a row might be the final nail in the Cardinals’ season if they struggle again with Seattle and Los Angeles.
This is the most important stretch of the season.