Another week down and another 1-3 finish for the NFC West. A division that had so much promise just a couple of weeks ago now only has one team above the .500 mark.
For the third time in four weeks a rivalry game within the division has been played in prime time. All three games were not fun to watch. It was a rough week, leaving a lot to talk about.
Here is your Week 8 recap for the NFC West division.
St. Louis Rams 7 New England Patriots 45
Seattle Seahawks 24 Detroit Lions 28
San Francisco 49ers 24 Arizona Cardinals 3
San Francisco 49ers: 6-2
Arizona Cardinals: 4-4
Seattle Seahawks: 4-4
St. Louis Rams: 3-5
What We Learned
Optimus Prime Always Wins
The Seattle Seahawks defense did not have a good game this past Sunday. They held the Lions to just 84 rushing yards, but Matthew Stafford threw for over 350 yards and had four touchdowns (one rush). They allowed a season-high 28 points in the loss.
One thing they were able to do, however, is shut down Calvin Johnson. There was a lot of hype during the week when Seattle corner Richard Sherman changed his twitter name to “Optimus Prime”. For those unaware, this is a Transformers movie reference. Optimus Prime is the leader of the good guys while Megatron (Calvin Johnson) is the enemy.
Despite being targeted eight times, Johnson caught only three passes for 46 yards and was held out of the end zone. The Lions won but “Optimus Prime” made sure that “Megatron” was not a factor.
The Rams Do Not Belong in London
As someone who lives outside of USA, it is great to see teams travel to other countries. Well, not really. The NFL has had games in London, England and Toronto, Ontario, Canada over the past couple of years and it really hasn’t worked out.
Buffalo has travelled to Toronto twice for regular season games and both games were duds. The same thing has happened to fans overseas as well. New England and St. Louis squared off at Wembley stadium this past Sunday and treated fans to an incredibly boring game.
There have been rumors that the NFL could be looking to have a team in London and the Rams were one of those teams rumored to be on the move. Not only is this a terrible idea, the Rams proved this past week that they are not the team to be in London.
Had they been at home in St. Louis, they may have stood a chance in this game. Instead they lost by 38 and sent the English fans home with nothing to cheer about.
It will be a Rough Second Half for the Cardinals
Just when you think they have everything figured out, the Arizona Cardinals come back with four of the ugliest football games you can write up. After starting 4-0, they have now dropped to .500 and have been blown out twice in prime time.
There are a couple of key issues with this team that cannot be resolved until the offseason. They have a solid team, but injuries and poor coaching have slowed them down.
The Cardinals have some tough games in the second half of the season. They start in Green Bay, then go to Atlanta and will also have to go to Seattle and San Francisco later in the year. With the way they are playing, it will be a painful nine weeks for Arizona. I don’t see them winning more than two, maybe three games.
San Francisco is Still the Team to Beat
If there was any doubt as to who was the team to beat in the NFC West division, the San Francisco 49ers have taken it away with two straight wins over Seattle and Arizona. They now have a two game lead in the division and probably won’t look back in the second half.
San Francisco was given a huge break by the NFL. They played on Thursday in Week 7, Monday in Week 8 and have a bye in Week 9. The 49ers had 11 days to rest and prepare for Arizona and they will have another 13 days to heal and come back strong in the final half of the season.
This team won the division by a landslide last season and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happened this year.