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NFC West recap: 49ers take control w/win over Rams; Seahawks win in overtime; Cardinals are consistent

The 49ers have taken the lead in the NFC West, can they hold onto it for the season?

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 is a wrap and the NFC West has already had a lead change. While it’s still far too early to start locking teams in, we have our look at where the San Francisco 49ers are standing.

And that is first place. After their win over the Rams, the 49ers are in the lead of the NFC West. Right behind them is the Rams, who still hold a division victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

There’s a lot of football to play, but these early-season games are crucial. For a team that starts late like the 49ers, if they can pile up some wins early, it gives cushioning for later in the season for any mid-season skids. Not to mention these games are typically slop fests while teams are figuring out their identity. Again—good insurance.

Los Angeles Rams (1-1)

You know what time it is:

And of course, that leads to this:

The Los Angeles Rams were riding high after beating the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Anyone who follows the 49ers knows that is not an easy place to play. So then the Rams hosted went to another away game against the San Francisco 49ers in SoFi Stadium.

The first half had you scratching your head as the Rams gashed the 49ers defense. When the second half rolled around, the 49ers adjusted. The Rams proceeded to do Ram things: Short passes (Matthew Stafford dropped back over 50 times) and eventually turn the ball over. The 49ers then shoved the ball down their throats.

The Rams were losing 30-20 in the final seconds but in a sort of petty decision-making, Rams head coach Sean McVay called for a field goal to narrow it to 30-23. Why he didn’t try for the touchdown or just take a knee is anyone’s guess. I’m sure those who bet on the 49ers didn’t like the decision since it was a 7.5 point spread.

All jokes aside, this game says more about the Rams than it does the 49ers. The 49ers are still the best team in football. While not the worst, the Rams weren’t thought to be anything special. That doesn’t seem to be the case now, they hung in there with the 49ers with what is a very young team. They might cause problems for the 49ers later this season when they come to Santa Clara.

Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

The Detroit Lions had one job. One (1). You know what happened.

The Lions hosted the Seattle Seahawks, who were looking for their first win of the season. The Seahawks could have had the treasured 0-2 start, but both defenses went out for smoothies while the offenses went back and forth. The game went into overtime and next thing you know, Geno Smith gets a pass to Tyler Lockett for a touchdown.

The Seahawks are now 1-1, but that loss to the Rams will put them third in the divisional race. The 49ers won’t meet the Seahawks until Nov. 23 for the Thanksgiving game, so it will be awhile until they can have a crack at them.

Arizona Cardinals (0-2)

In Week 1, the Dallas Cowboys hung 40 points on the New York Giants. In Week 2, it looked like the Cardinals were about to do the same thing and maybe knock the Cowboys down a peg for being The Most Mighty Team in All the Land. At the start of the second half, the game was 20-0. But much like last week, all it took was a bit of time and patience for the Arizona Cardinals to remember they are the Arizona Cardinals.

All it took were bonehead roughing penalties and a ridiculous amount of false starts to kill any momentum they had. The Giants managed to cut the deficit in the final minutes, leaving seconds on the clock, and even then, the Cardinals couldn’t get out of their own way.

The loss continues the Cardinals efforts with a goose egg in the win/loss column. It’s also their second game where they blew the lead in the second half. Now that’s consistency. Good job! Good effort!

Into Week 3

No divisional games this week, but the 49ers will have a test of their own. Comparing how two different teams do against the same opponent is a terrible argument in the NFL. There are a lot of matchups to consider between teams among other things. That said, there’s going to be a lot of comparisons of how the 49ers do against the Giants vs how the Cowboys did.

The 49ers will be hosting the Giants in their first home game on Thursday Night Football. Things are off to a rough outlook for the Giants with running back Saquon Barkley out with an ankle injury. This might mean a revenge game of sorts for former 49ers running back Matt Breida.

The Rams will be going up against the Cincinnati Bengals, one of the surprise entrants into the 0-2 squad. Given their offensive line issues, quarterback Joe Burrow might be on a first name basis with Aaron Donald before the day is over.

The Seahawks will host the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers may have lost linebacker Shaq Thompson for the season after he suffered what some are calling a fractured fibula. The injury occurred during the Panthers’ Monday Night Football contest against the New Orleans Saints. If that’s the case, the Seahawks just got an edge.

The Cardinals host the Dallas Cowboys. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be rooting for the Arizona Cardinals during a football game.

1st: San Francisco 49ers; Next: vs. New York Giants

2nd: Los Angeles Rams; Next: at Cincinnati Bengals (Monday Night Football)

3rd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: vs. Carolina Panthers

4th: Arizona Cardinals; Next: vs. Dallas Cowboys