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Week 9 NFC West outlook: We’re Cardinals’ fans Sunday

The 49ers could win with this weekend without stepping onto the field

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

The NFC West has turned into a two-team race halfway through the season. It was easy to assume it would have. The two teams are the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Yes, I am as shocked to type this as you are to read it.

Let’s recap the NFC west after Week 8:

Seattle Seahawks: 5-3, @ Arizona, @ Tampa Bay, Bye

Much like Michael Myers at the end of any Halloween movie, Seattle keeps coming back. Pete Carroll has turned in a masterful coaching performance thus far in 2022. One can argue it is Carroll’s best job of his career. Geno Smith continues his stellar play. DK Metcalf somehow returned to action on Sunday after what was feared to be a long-term injury.

Seattle now boasts the two rookies of the month in the NFC. Kenneth Walker III and Tariq Woolen both claimed the honor. Knocking off the 6-1 Giants is another stepping stone for this team and their resurgence. But, like it or not, Seattle isn’t going anywhere.

San Francisco 49ers: 4-4, Bye, vs. Chargers, @ Arizona (Mexico City)

Whenever the 49ers need a bounce-back game, the Rams are there to help. Christian McCaffrey lit up SoFi for the second time in three weeks. Jimmy Garoppolo played his best game of 2022. The defense returned to form. Even George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk got in on the touchdown act.

The bye week is filled with optimism and key players returning to health. With the remaining schedule, the 49ers are in a prime position to clinch a playoff spot. What a difference a week makes.

Los Angeles Rams: 3-4, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Cardinals, @ Saints

The Rams are broken offensively. This week becomes a must-win to stay relevant in the playoff hunt. The Buccaneers are in a similar spot, and this feels like a pivotal moment for both teams. Without a running game, offensive line, or secondary weapon, the Rams are in a world of trouble.

Sean McVay has to figure out a magical scheme change quickly. The next three games will decide their season. Super Bowl hangover? Maybe. I blame the struggles on their personnel decisions in the offseason.

Arizona Cardinals: 3-5, vs. Seattle, @ Rams, vs. 49ers (Mexico City)

Throwing the ball 44 times is not a recipe for success. Deandre Hopkins has returned to form, but with no semblance of a rushing attack, this offense is completely one-dimensional.

Now, Seattle comes to town, followed by the Rams, who have typically held the advantage over them. By the time Arizona travels to Mexico City, their season may be over.

The good news for Kyler Murray? The new Call of Duty is out.