The NFC West put on another solid showing in Week 4. The teams combined for a 3-1 record, with the one loss coming in a divisional game. With their hard-nosed style of play and defense first mentality, these four teams are starting to change the landscape of the game.
As always, there is a lot to talk about between these four teams, so let’s get to it. Here is your NFC West Week 4 recap.
Arizona Cardinals 24, Miami Dolphins 21 OT
San Francisco 49ers 34, New York Jets 0
St. Louis Rams 19, Seattle Seahawks 13
Arizona Cardinals: 4-0
San Francisco 49ers: 3-1
St. Louis Rams: 2-2
Seattle Seahawks: 2-2
Fantasy Football Top Performers
Owned in just 12 percent of yahoo fantasy football leagues, Andre Roberts should be one of the hottest waiver-wire pickups heading into Week 5. Through four games, the 24-year-old has already doubled his career-high in touchdown receptions. He had just two in each of his first two seasons, but already has four in 2012.
This past week against Miami is where Roberts really broke out, catching six passes for 118 yards. He also reached the end zone twice and had the game-tying touchdown catch.
As long as Larry Fitzgerald is on the field, Roberts will keep finding ways to get open. He is a guy you can start in your flex spot this week.
Despite putting up only 13 points this past Sunday, the Seahawks had a lot of success running the football. Robert Turbin contributed quite well, running for 45 yards on just six carries. The majority of their success, however, came from Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch carried the load again for Seattle in Week 4, running the ball 20 times for 118 yards. He also caught four passes out of the backfield for nearly 40 yards and scored the Hawks only touchdown of the game.
It is not very often that you see a kicker in the top performers sections, but 2012 seems to be the year of 50-plus yard field goals. David Akers kicked a 63-yarder in Week 1, but Rams rookie Greg Zeurlein is the one stealing the show.
In the Rams win over Seattle, Zeurlein scored 13 of their 19 points. This includes four field goals and an extra point. His 17 points this week gives him 52 on the year and we are only through four games.
He hit from both 58 and 60 yards against the Seahawks and has three field goals of over 50 yards this season. It is safe to say that St. Louis is in good hands in the special teams department.
In Week 3, Arizona running back Ryan Williams finished strong against the Philadelphia Eagles, rushing for 83 yards on only 13 carries. After Beanie Wells was placed on IR, many were rushing to pick up the Cardinals rookie.
For those of you who started Williams this week, I would like to apologize to you on his behalf. Even with Beanie out, he was still only given 13 carries. His was not nearly as successful as last week, either, averaging only two yards per carry.
Even though San Francisco demolished the New York Jets, they didn’t exactly put up the biggest numbers. Frank Gore scored, Kendall Hunter scored, heck, even Colin Kaepernick scored. One person who did not reach the end zone was Vernon Davis.
Davis is one of the top tight ends in football and he hurt a lot of fantasy football owners this week with his performance. The 28-year-old only had two receptions for 28 yards and no scores. This was the first game all year that he did not have a touchdown.
Another week and yet another miserable performance from Steven Jackson. He has been the workhouse for St. Louis for a while now and you can tell that it is taking its toll on him. Jackson does not have a touchdown on the year and has rushed for under 200 yards.
He had a combined 67 yards in the game against Seattle. This isn’t terrible, but a ton more is expected from a guy who has seven straight 1000-yard seasons.
In a Week 3 win over the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver Golden Tate caught three passes for 68 yards and had both of the Seahawks touchdowns. This week was a little bit different, though. He caught just one pass for seven yards in a losing effort.
Sure, some of it has to do with the quarterback and the playcalling, but this game proves that he is not a fantasy threat.
What We Learned
San Francisco is not Messing Around
Truth be told, the San Francisco 49ers looked ugly in their loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Sure, the Vikings played well, but San Fran was flat out awful. Very little was going right on either side of the ball and it resulted in an 11-point loss.
One thing we learned this week, though, is that they are not messing around. They know that the loss put them in a bit of a hole and they went right back to work to dig out of it. The whole team looked frustrated in Week 3 and probably felt like they had something to prove in Week 4. San Francisco took it to the Jets this week and it wouldn’t surprise me if they do the same to Buffalo.
The Cardinals Love to Keep it Close
A lot of people are pointing out that the Arizona Cardinals are 11-2 over their past 13 games. If you look at all of their games, however, you will notice that they like to keep things close. Five of their 11 wins have come in overtime and 10 of them have been within a touchdown.
Arizona beat Philadelphia by 21 points in Week 3, but just when you think they are set to blow another team out; they keep it close and send their fans on an emotional roller coaster. The Cardinals needed overtime to beat Miami and stay undefeated. You can expect a few more games like this throughout the year.
Russell Wilson May Not be That Guy
It came as a shock to many when the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson and it was arguably even more surprising when he was named the starting quarterback. After a solid preseason, many Seattle fans were talking about the rookie like he was their saviour.
Four weeks into the year the Seahawks sit at 2-2 and the honeymoon between the fans and Wilson is now over. He threw three interceptions in their loss to St. Louis and a lot of people are calling for Matt Flynn. Whether Pete Carroll will listen remains to be seen, but we could have a quarterback controversy in Seahawk land.
St. Louis is Tough to Beat at Home
After a win over Seattle, the St. Louis Rams are now .500 on the year. If we take the Bears game out of the equation, then they have put up a great fight in each game so far. Like most teams, the Rams seem to love playing at home. They have played two at home and two on the road, with both of their wins coming at the Edward Jones Dome.
The Rams are not likely going anywhere this year, but they have made it clear that you are never in an easy game in St. Louis.