Monday, September 18, 2006
NFC West Update: Week 2
The Pyramid is back. After needing a week to recover from Pink's stunning opening performance for Sunday Night Football the NFC West Update didn't make its debut last week. Neither did the Seahawks offense. (haHA!)
But, due to some downtime, I bring you NFC West Update. This debuted last year, with one goal in mind: taking a look at our divisional rivals, and giving them a ranking of how dangerous they were to win the division: high, medium, or low. These levels were somewhat controversial as the Seahawks were running away with the division; I kept ranking the Cardinals as high. This was relative to the other teams, but since that was confusing we'll just do it relative to the Seahawks.
Let's get it started.
San Francisco 49ers (1-1)
Last week: 20-13 W over St. Louis.
Threat to win the division: Medium
Is Mike Nolan already making himself a Coach of the Year candidate? Not only did the 49ers play well in their opener against Arizona, but they used a startling (for S.F.) combination of good defense and clutch offense to beat the Rams in week 2. Remember, how we said last year that Nolan had this team going in the right direction. They've looked legitimately impressive so far this season...all two games of it.
But, Alex Smith ranks 8th in the NFL in passing yards, and he's already tossed two touchdowns, including an absolutely gorgeous one to Antonio Bryant that went for 72-yards in the win over the Rams.
Frank Gore is the fourth leading rusher in the league, by the way. And, as a team, the 49ers are sixth in total offense. Sure its early, but did you really expect this?
Next up: vs Philadelphia
Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
Last week: 21-10 loss to Seattle
Threat to win the division: Low
Even though the Seahawks sputtered around Qwest Field, they still made it look like the Cardinals' car was on blocks. It was mentioned in Gameday chat that the Cardinals look like the Seahawks a few seasons ago. How true is that?
The Cardinals can't close out games (nearly lost to San Fran in week 1) and can't be consistent (really, look at the numbers from week 2). The defense has holes and their quarterback can't quite get the job done. Boy, if that doesn't describe the 2000 Seahawks...I need a new thesaurus.
Honestly, if the game was closer on Sunday, the Cardinals might be ranked at medium. But, for only losing by 11, I'm sure the Cardinals left like it was a lot more. After all, their defense was on the field for over thirty minutes.
(By the way: the game book for each game can be a good read, I recommend it)
Keep your heads up Pink Taco Dwellers, I have a feeling good times are on the way. Just not this year.
Up next: vs Saint Louis.
Saint Louis Rams 1-1
Last week: 20-13 loss to San Francisco
Threat to win division: Low
The Rams have scored thirty one points with the benefit of one touchdown this season. Jeff Wilkens has been the man, and that has people in Archland worried.
The Ram’s defense has shown it can stop a mediocre Jake Plummer and can't stop the Alex Smith-Frank Gore combination-o-death. In other words: all that talk out of Rams camp about a new and improved defense is amounting to a lot of hot air.
Stephen Jackson has rushed for over one-hundred yards in both games this season, meaning the rams are willing to run the football. That's about all they do well. They rank right behind the Seahawks in total offense, which we'd like to think means they've been going lights out. Considering they're one spot ahead of Denver on the total offense category...well, you see how the Rams are struggling. The Rams rank 24th in passing. Greatest Show on Turf...we bid thee ado.
Next up: at Arizona
And that's your NFC West Update.
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