Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NFC West Breakdown: Week 8

(Vince Vitale writes for Ramblin' Fan, which is FSB’s St. Louis Rams blog. Representing the rest of the NFC West are 12th Man Rising, Niner Noise. and Raising Zona.)

The NFC West continued to struggle going 1-3 on the week and are now 10-19 on the season. Defense is at a premium as these teams combined are allowing 27.1 points per game. The Rams continue to be the talk of the West, playing much better under Coach Jim Haslett. The game of the week will be Arizona at St. Louis. In sunny San Francisco, DaBear Mike Singletary is going to start laying down the law. Birds of a feather will flock together as the Seahawks, without Matt Hasselbeck will take on the Donovan McNabb led Eagles.

Arizona Cardinals (4-3):

Looking Back:

The Arizona Cardinals lost for the fourth straight time to the first place Carolina Panthers(6-2) wasting a 381 yard 2 touchdown performance from the young again Kurt Warner. A costly fumble by Edgerrin James in the 3rd Quarter helped the Panthers score 14 points in a 46 second span. The Cardinals keep shooting themselves in the foot every week and it could cost them the NFC West division crown.

Looking Forward:

Arizona will travel to play the second place St. Louis Rams(2-5). The Cardinals scored 82 points in their season sweep of the Rams in 2007. This game will feature the return of fan favorite Kurt Warner to St. Louis. Additionally Dick Vermeil will be inducted into the Rams Ring of Fame. It will be like a family reunion at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday. The big question is which team will end up crying.

St. Louis Rams (2-5):

Looking Back:

The Rams were not quite able to pull off their third straight upset under Coach Jim Haslett, falling 23-16 in a hard fought game against the New England Patriots(5-2). The Rams managed 90 yards on the ground but they missed the threat of Steven Jackson in the lineup. The patriots continued to have the Rams number even with Matt Cassel at QB.

Looking Forward:

Even at 2-5 this is probably the biggest game for the Rams since 2004. The Rams can pull within a game of first place with a win over the Arizona Cardinals(4-3) on Sunday. The Rams are 19-36 in their last 55 games so it has been a long time since they have tasted success. The Edward Jones Dome will be rocking this week as the Rams fans can taste the team turn around that Jim Haslett is cooking.

San Francisco 49ers (2-6):

Looking Back:

Mike Singletary had an interesting first game as the Niners Head Coach. The Niners lost badly to the Seattle Seahawks(2-5), 34-13. During the game Vernon Davis received a personal foul penalty, after the play Singletary sent Davis literally to the showers. I would like to applaud this move and would like to see more coaches dish out some punishment. After a costly pick 6 from J.T. O’Sullivan he was also sent to the showers in favor of Shaun Hill. After the game it was rumored that the Niners are interested in hiring Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to a high level position in the organization. Good luck Mike.

Looking Forward:

The Niners reach the bye week in full free fall. The Niners have lost their last five games by a combined score of 164-94. The Niners will travel off their bye week to a Monday Night Football matchup against the Arizona Cardinals(4-3). The Niners are simply in rebuilding mode and need to focus on new leadership and gathering more skilled players. It would be great to see Singletary take over this club and rebuild the defense.

Seattle Seahawks (2-5):

Looking Back:

The Seahawks took advantage of some timely defense and mistakes by the San Francisco 49ers(2-6) to roll to a 34-13 victory. The Seahawks only managed 39 yards rushing on 28 carries. This offensive line is far from their hay day. Seneca Wallace was 15 of 25 for 222 yards in a solid performance.

Looking Forward:

Seattle will host the Philadelphia Eagles(4-3) on Sunday. The Eagles are 9th in rushing defense and will try to shut down the Seahawks running came and then Jim Johnson will tee off with blitzes against Seneca Wallace. The Eagles boast three shut down corners which are also a bad matchup for the Seahawk decimated wide receiving core. The job does not get any easier for the Seahawk who will then be forced to take the longest trip in the NFL down to Miami to take on the Dolphins(3-4).


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