Current NFCW Standings
Los Angeles Rams: 7-0
Seattle Seahawks: 3-3
San Francisco 49ers: 1-6
Arizona Cardinals: 1-6
Rams Update: W at San Francisco, 39-10
Two years ago, the newly minted Los Angeles Rams lost 28-0 at San Francisco. In what can be considered a full circle moment, the Rams delivered on one of their most dominating performances this century. While the Rams high powered offense scored off of all four 49er turnovers, they only had 331 yards to go with their 39 points. This game however was about the defense returning to form. After allowing 30 points in Seattle 2 weeks ago, the Rams cut that to 20 in Denver and then 10 against the 49ers. Aaron Donald had a career day garnering 4 sacks, and had a striking forced fumble against 49er RB Matt Breida. Troy Hill also bounced back after a rough stretch securing a tough INT in 49er territory. Marcus Peters also has recovered from physical ailment and mental mistakes that had plagued him in recent weeks. 49er wide receivers were blanketed all game, and none of them even recorded a catch until late in the 3rd quarter. Todd Gurley quietly scored another 3 touchdowns, tying him for the most through 7 games in league history with Priest Holmes. Ahead of this game, the Rams will host the Green Bay Packers who are fresh off a bye week as well as a close fought home game against the 49ers. Aaron Rodgers will provide the Rams defense with maybe it’s toughest challenge all year. However, the Rams have played other elite QBs this season in Phillip Rivers, Kirk Cousins, and Russell Wilson … so they are a battle tested unit.
Seahawks Update: 3-3, Bye Week
Not much to say here with the bye week. They play the Lions who are fresh off a strong road win in Miami. Detroit should provide a good test for the re-worked Seattle defense, on the road no less. Mike Sando recently took to Twitter to brag about how the Seahawks defense was knocking out opposing players at some sort of historic pace since week 7 of 2012 but I wouldn’t make much of it.
Cardinals Update: L hosting Denver, 45-10
What can even be said about this one? The Cardinals suffered one of their worst losses in modern history. Prior to the game, star Broncos pass rusher Von Miller declared that they would kick the Cardinals ass. Well. he sure hit the nail on the head in this one. It’s hard to pick who performed worse, the Cardinals offense or defense. I suppose the argument can be made that it was the Cardinals offense, as their offensive coordinator was promptly fired after the game. Cardinals QB Josh Rosen was sacked a staggering 6 times. He completed 21 of 39 passes for 194 yards, with 1 TD to 3 INTs. Having 39 pass attempts with less than 200 yards to show for it is an extremely concerning sign. Once again, David Johnson was a non factor averaging 2.9 yards per carry. It’s fair to wonder if Steve Wilks will survive his first season as the coach of this team. It would appear to the author that David Johnson is getting the 2016 Todd Gurley treatment, a great player stuck in an awful offense. The Cardinals defense has talent, but maybe it’s most talented player in Patrick Peterson is now demanding a trade. At this point., it’s tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel this year. Rosen has looked good from time to time, but it’s not fair to judge him based on how bad the offense is that he is subjected to. One of the only Bruce Arians holdover coaches, former NFL QB Byron Leftwich will take over at OC. It’s tough to say how he will do, but Arians was a big advocate of his.
49ers Update: L hosting Los Angeles, 39-10
The 49ers went into this game with a maybe average roster beat up with injuries, and managed to finish with even more injuries. On a day where a statue was commissioned to honor “The Catch”, a moment which began the great 49er dynasty of the 80s, fans and 49er legends in attendance were treated to a stark reminder of current events. The 49ers had 4 turnovers this game. and have actually had 18 fumbles in 7 games alone this year! It should be noted that obviously this team is dealing with a deluge of injuries, the most important being the starting QB. However, turnovers were still a problem early in the season before the roster got really beat up. Kyle Shanahan’s coaching record to this point is 7-16, and he really needs to prove that he is worth holding onto as the season progresses. The 49ers defense ranked 3rd in run defense coming into the game which is impressive. but their pass defense suffered another huge blow with starting SS Adrian Colbert injuring his ankle. Colbert is a likely candidate to hit IR in short order unfortunately. The injuries can be forgiven to an extent, but Shanahan will be on thin ice heading into 2019 if this team ends up finishing with less than 5 wins. With the amount of injuries that have occurred this year, it would be fair to question the methods of the 49er training staff. Their next game is against the Cardinals, where the winner will likely avoid the NFCW basement.
As has been the case for some time now, the Los Angeles Rams continue to distance themselves from the rest of the division. Provided the Rams defense continues to rebound from it’s struggles of a few weeks ago, it’s tough to imagine the Seahawks catching the Rams in the standings at this point. The Los Angeles Rams have arguably the best roster in football, and will look to lock up the #1 or #2 seed over the next several weeks. Seattle will face a decent test on the road against the Lions before facing the LA gauntlet of the Chargers and Rams after. Much will be decided in regards to the final NFCW standings over the course of the proceeding 4-5 weeks. For the Rams, they face a tough task themselves in taking on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Rams are heavily favored due to the fact this Packers roster is not the juggernaut of years past, but anytime Aaron Rodgers is your opponent you cannot take anything for granted.
NFCW Week 8 Matchups
Green Bay Packers AT Los Angeles Rams
Seattle Seahawks AT Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers AT Arizona Cardinals