The NFL is always full of surprises and 4 games has brought plenty of them, even within this division. However some things are as predicted. Here are my thoughts after 4 weeks.
1. The 49ers are who we thought they were.
It’s scary how much this team is like the 2015 team. Both won their first game convincingly and lost three games following that due to appalling quarterback play and a bad defense. Blaine Gabbert has shown that he is in no way, shape, or form the answer at quarterback and their defense is toast after losing Navorro Bowman to a torn Achilles. Looks like a top 5 pick is in store for this group.
2. The Cardinals are not who we thought they were
Outside of a 33 point win over Tampa, the Cardinals have been a joke this year. So far, their schedule has not been hard and yet they have only one win in four tries. The road only gets tougher from here and the Cardinals will find themselves on the outside looking in if they do not step up their horrendous play on both sides of the ball. It’s doubtful that this team gets to the playoffs if they cannot get it together.
3. A new city has brought newfound success
3-1! The last time the Rams were 3-1 was in 2006, which is also the last year they finished with at least 8 wins. Their impressive win in Arizona not only gave them their third straight win, but it buried the Cardinals 2 games behind them and gave the Rams the early tiebreaker over them. Questions remain about this teams offensive consistency, but the Rams should enjoy this success for now.
4. By default, the Seahawks should be the favorites
The Seahawks have woken up from their two game nap to start the season and appear to be heading in the right direction. Christine Michael has risen to the occasion at running back, Russell Wilson is gutting it out and the defense looks as good as ever. The season is only a quarter over, but given the Cardinals struggles and my lack of trust for the Rams, the Seahawks have to be favorites to win the NFC West.
5. Carson Palmer has reverted back to his old, bad ways
The season is 4 games old, but Carson Palmer already has 5 interceptions and a 58.8% completion rate. Talk about embarrassing. Those look like his stats from his Raider years. Granted, not all of it is his fault, but father time is undefeated, and it appears age and injuries could finally be taking their toll on Palmer. Only time will tell.
The Cardinals to the Bay Area without Carson Palmer to play the 49ers on a short week, the Rams get a home game against the suddenly hot Bills and the Seahawks have a much needed bye.