This has gotten to the point where things will definitely be shaping up when both teams square off on Thanksgiving. We’ll get more into the Seahawks and what to expect going forward, but for now, the big news is the 49ers are once again in first. Now if they can just hold on to it for the rest of the season.
So let’s talk about seeding. As Kyle pointed out earlier, seeding isn’t looking too hot. The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys when Dak happened, essentially. While Dak Prescott didn’t play an awful game, and he remembered to let the refs tap the ball before the snap, and he remembered not to take off on a QB draw, he still threw about three feet in front of the goal line in the final play of the game.
The Eagles are still up against the 49ers. They have a stretch of Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, 49ers, and going to the Cowboys. That is a gauntlet, even if the Bills haven’t played that good lately.
Unfortunately, while they deal with all that, the 49ers have the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with the aforementioned Eagles game and the Seahawks twice. The Seahawks always play the 49ers hard (as a divisional foe does) and there should be some NFC West implications in those two Seattle games. If the 49ers can run the table rest of the way, they could get that precious No. 1 seed, but that’s asking an awful, awful lot.
Los Angeles Rams (3-6)
I’m going to go off on a limb here and say Brett Rypien isn’t the answer in a post-Matthew Stafford world. The Rams did not have a good Sunday, dropping an ugly, ugly loss to the Green Bay Packers. A Green Bay Packers team that has been on a 4-game losing streak.
The Green Bay Packers haven’t had a first half touchdown in four games? They have now.
The Green Bay Packers have an injured secondary? Brett Rypien is ripe for just over 100 yards and an interception.
The Rams are definitely not out of this, but they are going to need to secure a couple of victories and hope for some losses for a Wild Card. Right now, the Minnesota Vikings are in the last spot, with the Packers ahead of the Rams. There’s a lot that needs to happen for the Rams to get back in there, but they also are in a deep, deep hole.
Seattle Seahawks (5-3)
The Seahawks defense actually showed up with a few takeaways. Well, for the first half or so. As time went on, they were clearly getting gassed on the field due to the offense being unable to sustain drives. Then some mental mistakes (like getting drawn offsides on fourth and 1), and long conversions (that 17-yard run on third and 18 wasn’t pretty).
The big problem was quarterback Geno Smith. Smith went 13 for 28 (46.4 completion percentage), 157 yards, an interception, four sacks, and a fumble lost in one of those sacks for a crowd-pleasing 49.3 passer rating.
Smith has not looked great over the last few weeks, but it’s also maybe a bit too early to pull the plug. I wouldn’t say he’s the entire problem (hmmm this sounds familiar). As I said over all that ridiculousness from people asking about Sam Darnold, that’s a move you can’t turn back from. That said, Smith is turning the ball over on some really weird plays.
And that’s uh, bad. Smith threw two interceptions against the Cleveland Browns, but the team still managed to pull out a win. He did not look good at all on Sunday, but he still has a few more games to turn it around. I imagine the 49ers will be facing him on Thanksgiving unless a massive nosedive occurs.
With the Seahawks 1-1 divisional score, they lose the tiebreaker to the 49ers currently who are 2-0 in the division. This is shaping up for a Thanksgiving collision course.
Arizona Cardinals (1-8)
The biggest news about the Cardinals isn’t what happened in the game against the Cleveland Browns, where they laid a goose egg in a 27-0 whipping, but the news after the game: quarterback Kyler Murray is returning from injury as long as there are no setbacks.
Ok, so back to the Browns and the Cardinals. Where do I start with this? If you’re a Cleveland Browns fan, you loved what you saw. If you’re a 49ers fan you probably had this one shut off. The Cardinals couldn’t do much of anything (which usually happens if you don’t score a single point). The thing is, the Browns didn't even play their best it seemed like, and they still did that to the Cardinals.
I don’t have much to say other than the game had interceptions, it had fumbles, and it had the Cardinals getting the fewest yards on offense since 1955.
But the Cardinals still managed to beat the Cowboys.
Into Week 10
The 49ers return from a bye week and will be heading to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. This will be a good litmus test to see if the issues on defense have been fixed. It also should be the debut of shiny new trade Chase Young. Young isn’t going to fix the glaring issues, but hopefully, there was a heart-to-heart between Kyle Shanahan and Steve Wilks.
The Seahawks will be hosting the Washington Commanders. Given that the Commanders just had a fire sale of their defense, sending Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears and Chase Young to the 49ers, Geno Smith might look average this time around with all the departures. It’s clear the Commanders have turned this into a developmental season, so beating the Seahawks on Sunday would be a huge task.
The Rams have a bye, so bye.
The Cardinals will be hosting the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons went up against the Kirk Cousins-less Minnesota Vikings last week and managed to screw that up royally. This is due to having all these sweet weapons on offense, and not using them.
It’s kinda like having all the -aga spells in a Final Fantasy game, but insisting on using the basic, lv. 1 versions that went obsolete 10 game hours ago. What I’m saying is, the Falcons find a way to mess things up and even if the Cardinals are the Cardinals, I am not so sure of a loss for Arizona in this game.
1st: San Francisco 49ers; Next: at Jacksonville Jaguars
2nd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: vs. Washington Commanders
3rd: Los Angeles Rams; Next: bye
4th: Arizona Cardinals; Next: vs. Atlanta Falcons