It is a very sad week if you are a fan of an NFC West team not named the Seattle Seahawks. The three other teams in the division all lost to teams they probably should have beat. A lot of lessons were learned this week and the talk of this being the best division in football may be put to rest.
Here is the NFC West Week 6 recap.
St. Louis Rams 14 Miami Dolphins 17
Arizona Cardinals 16 Buffalo Bills 19
Seattle Seahawks 24 New England Patriots 23
San Francisco 49ers 3 New York Giants 26
Arizona Cardinals: 4-2
San Francisco 49ers: 4-2
Seattle Seahawks: 4-2
St. Louis Rams: 3-3
What We Learned
Greg Zuerlein is Mortal
24-year-old rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein came out of nowhere and has been a stud for the St. Louis Rams this season. He was drafted in the sixth round out of Missouri Western State and has already established himself as one of the best kickers in the game.
Through the first five weeks, Zuerlein was a perfect 13-for-13 on field goal tries and had converted all seven extra points attempted. He made field goals of over 50 yards in three consecutive games, including a 60-yard boot in Week 4 against Seattle.
It seemed like the rookie was unstoppable, but you almost knew that he would have to miss one sooner or later. In Week 6 against the Miami Dolphins, that is exactly what happened. Zuerlein attempted five field goals this past Sunday, making only two of them.
Despite missing two earlier in the game, he was sent out in the fourth to attempt a 66-yard kick. He was kicking from Dolphin territory and it would have tied the game at 17.
Kevin Kolb is Not the Problem
After starting the season 4-0, the Arizona Cardinals have now lost two games in a row and sit at 4-2. The Rams loss is excusable because they are an extremely tough team to beat at home, but there is no reason to lose at home to Buffalo.
There are two problems that will hold this team and they have been brought to the forefront over the past two weeks. Problem No. 1 is the offensive line. They allowed pressure on nearly every play and have given up 22 sacks over the past three games.
Problem No. 2 is the offensive coordinator Mike Miller. He had his moments during the Bills game, but for some reason, doesn’t want to stick with what works. The play calling is terrible and it is setting the offense up to fail before the ball is even snapped.
Despite having terrible numbers this week, Kevin Kolb did a great job avoiding pressure. A lot of other quarterbacks in this league would have been sacked 10-15 times. The rest of the offense is doing just fine given the burden of Mike Miller.
Seattle Goes as Far as Wilson Takes Them
The Seattle Seahawks picked up a huge win over the New England Patriots this week in dramatic fashion. Russell Wilson connected on a deep pass late in the fourth quarter. This time, however, it was to Sidney Rice.
If Seattle was going to upset the Patriots, I thought for sure that it would be a low scoring game like the one against Green Bay. It was almost the complete opposite, though, with the Seahawks winning 24-23.
Wilson was able to hang with Tom Brady, completing just fewer than 60 percent of his passes for 293 yards. He also threw three touchdowns passes and had no picks. This was by far his best game as a pro and if he can continue to have games like this, then Seattle can go a long way this year.
Alex Smith is the Problem
The San Francisco 49ers have a great defense, a solid running game, some of the best special teams players in the league and multiple weapons on offense. This is a team loaded with talent, but they are only 4-2. The reason for this is the play of their quarterback, Alex Smith. Here is a look at his performance in the 49ers wins vs. their losses.
Green Bay is the only good team that the 49ers have defeated this season and they have been blown out by the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings. They have a solid team, but like Seattle, will only go as far as their quarterback takes them.