Week 2 is in the books, and sadly the NFC West could not go undefeated as a whole once again. The Cardinals lost to the Ravens, while the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers all won their respective games.
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens: Ravens 23-17
On paper, Kyler Murray out performed Lamar Jackson as a passer. Sadly for the Cards, Jackson accounted for 272 yards passing and an incredible 120 yards rushing. In spite of this, the Cardinals kept the game close with a team that has consistently landed in the top 5 of power rankings. Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald both went for over 100 yards, and the early returns of Kliff Kingsbury’s offense looks impressive. The only problem is the ground game has not been impressive, in spite of the presence of star RB David Johnson. Some of this may be by design, but the time may come where having a ground game is key to winning a close game. Defensively, the Cardinals are in rough shape however. The offense will need to continue at a breakneck speed in order to keep games close more often than not.
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers: Seahawks 28-26
The Seahawks won a close game on the road against the Steelers on the back of Russell Wilson’s 300 yards passing and a combined 120 yards rushing from Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. An old enemy of Russell Wilson has emerged once again though, in the form of 8 sacks in 2 games. Defensively, they allowed an unproven QB in Mason Rudolph to keep Pittsburgh in the game. In week 1, they also allowed Andy Dalton to pass for over 400 yards without AJ Green on the field. On the other hand though, the Seahawks run defense has been impressive. The addition of Clowney so far has enhanced the run defense more than the pass defense through 2 weeks.
San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals : 49ers 41-17
In what was one of the most impressive 49er wins in recent memory, the 49ers went on the road and dominated the Bengals. Both the 49er run and pass game looked potent. 49er RBs amassed 238 yards rushing while the passing game accounted for 296 yards and 3 scores. Defensively, the run defense rebounded from a poor performance in week 1 against the Bucs, allowing only 25 yards on the ground. On the other hand, the pass defense took a step back allowing Andy Dalton to pass for over 300 yards in spite of AJ Green not playing. The 49ers will take it though, as they were able to build a comfortable lead by scoring 24 points in the first half.
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams: Rams 27-9
In a rematch of the NFC Championship game between the 1 and 2 seed, the Rams hosted the Saints in a pivotal early season match-up between the #1 and #2 seeds from the 2018 season. The Rams defensive front was so dominant, they knocked Drew Brees out of the game early. The Saints defense attempted to mimic the “Patriots Blueprint”, and while they had some early success, the Rams proved that they are beyond this formula truly slowing them down on offense. The Rams were able to rush for 115 yards and pass for 283 yards. Beyond that, the Rams defense has been the story of the first two games. After allowing Christian McCaffrey to rush for 120 yards, the Rams held Alvin Kamara to 45 yards on 13 carries. The Rams limited the Saints passing offense 198 yards, almost half of which went to Michael Thomas with 89 yards on 10 catches.
Los Angeles Rams: 2-0
San Francisco 49ers: 2-0
Seattle Seahawks: 2-0
Arizona Cardinals: 0-1-1
Photo Cred: Wally Skalij/LA Times