Sep 30, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

NFC West: St. Louis Rams Rest, San Francisco 49ers Over Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers Over Seattle Seahawks


Following the Thursday Night Football game, the news week for the St. Louis Rams has be relatively limited. Coach Fisher has given the team a “couple of days off,” meaning that the Rams likely won’t hit the field until Monday. However, there are some pivotal games in the NFC West to be played this today, especially after the Rams knocked off the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals. The NFC West is the newest, toughest division in the NFL, characterized by hard-hitting defenses and good enough offenses, which have a combined 12-6 record in the league, and 9-3 outside of  the division. Here is how each game could effect the division, and how Ramblin’ Fan predicts the games will play out.

 

Buffalo Bills @ San Francisco 49ers

After a complete-and-utter domination of the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers have a chance to shut out two different teams in as may weeks. The Buffalo Bills are coming off of an epic second half meltdown that allow 580 yards of total offense and 45 points, which may have single-handedly shot Brandon Bolden into the spotlight. The Bills have allowed 1626 yards (24th) through four games, including 9 passing touchdowns (26th) and 6 rushing touchdowns (T-26th), helping to result in a combined 131 points allowed (30th). Couple that with the San Francisco defense that has allowed only 1109 yards (5th)  and 65 points (3rd), and the fact that the Bills will be traveling to the West Coast to play at Candlestick, and you have a recipe for a shutdown, blowout game.

If, and when, the 49ers win this game, it should cause some slight shifting in the NFC West rankings. The win would push the 9ers to 4-1, which would be tied with the Arizona Cardinals. According to the NFL rules in regards to tiebreakers for divisional winners, the Cardinals would technically still be in the top slot in the division. The rules indicate that the tiebreaker goes, first, to the winner of head-to-head matchups between the two teams, which have not occurred yet in the young season. The next ‘breaker goes to the team with the highest win-loss-tie percentage within the division, which would be the Cardinals (.500, at 1-1) ahead of the 49ers (.000, not having played against a divisional opponent). However, the mainstream NFL media would crown the 49ers the king of the division, unjustly sinking the Cardinals back into non-relevance following their loss on Thursday Night.

 

 Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers

Sunday will likely begin the down-spiral of the Seattle Seahawks season, playing against a surprisingly 1-3 Carolina Panthers ballclub. The Panthers lost their season opener by a mere 6 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and nearly knocked off the high-flying Atlanta Falcons last week before losing on a last season field goal. The Seahawks, on the other hand, were dominated by the St. Louis Rams defensively, picking off three passed from the rookie quarterback, and holding him to a mere 160 yards passing with no touchdowns. The lone bright spot for the team was the play of Marshawn Lynch, which they have relied on for each of their wins so far this season. While the Seattle defense does rank in the top 10 in both rushing and passing yards allowed per game, they have played against some of the more “mediocre to poor” offenses in the league this year; Green Bay (20th total yards, 20th points), Arizona (19th, 16th), Dallas (16th, 30th), and St. Louis (17th, 15th). They are allowing teams to convert on 43.1 percent of their third town attempts, have only picked off opposing quarterbacks 3 times, and mustered only 2 sacks against a makeshift St. Louis offensive line in their last game. Moreover, the Seahawks have a 0-2 record on the road with some astonishing differences in performance when away from the 12th man in Seattle. The ‘Hawks are averaging 6 less points per game on the road, have allowed 20 more points on the road than at home, and had all 5 offensive turnovers while playing outside of Seattle. The Panthers will be able to generate enough points to hold off the placid Seattle offensive attack, setting Cam Newton back on track with his second win of the season.

Some are already calling for the head of Russell Wilson after his loss to the Rams last Sunday. Following that loss with another against the Panthers will likely send Matt Flynn in as the starter, launching the Seahawks into their typical mid-year quarterback controversy. The Pete Carroll team that was supposed to the only “legitimate challenger” to 49ers in the NFC West will fall to 2-3 on the season, and 0-2 in a division that is finally garnering some attention in the NFL. Seattle will follow the likely loss to the Panthers with a home game against the New England Patriots, who have averaged 38.6 points per game on the road this season. Then the ‘Hawks are on the road against the San Francisco 49ers in Thursday Night Football divisional showdown and the Lions in Detroit before starting off the November schedule against the new-look Minnesota Vikings, who are laeding the NFC North at 3-1.  The Seahawks have a legitimate chance of going 1-5 before hitting their bye in Week 11, which may become even more likely with a quarterback change. For a team that is already anchoring the bottom spot in the NFC West, with two divisional losses in as many games, a streak of those proportions could spell the end to a the Pete Carroll era in Seattle.

Tags: Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Featured Popular San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams

  • HawkFaninVegas

    This will be the beginning of a downward spiral for the Seahawks? You clearly don’t know what you are talking about. As far as their loss to the Rams, the Rams needed fieldgoals of 58 and 60 yards, plus a fake field goal to beat the Seahawks; you are clearly a Rams fanboy. This is not the beginning of the end for the Pete Carroll era either; he will be in Seattle for years to come. The Hawks will only get better over the course of the year as Russell Wilson gets experience, and I guarantee they will beat the Rams when they come to Seattle,

    • RamsFanOnThisPlanet

      So let me get this straight… losing to the Rams isn’t bad enough? You are high and mighty after barely beating the 1-4 Carolina Panthers? The ‘Hawks are lucky that Cam didn’t look anywhere other than Steve Smith or they could have easily had at least 6 more points off of the 2 inceptions and fumble on kickoff… I honestly hope that Pete Carroll stays there for a long time because he makes horrible personnel decisions and will single-handed keep you out of the playoffs for “years to come”

      • HawkFaninVegas

        Dream on. You better get ready for many years of looking up at the Seahawks in the standings, although as a Rams fan you should be used to that by now. Can’t wait for week 17 when the Seahawks give the Rams a good a$$ kicking to end the year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alfonso.rivas.52 Alfonso Rivas

      Dream on! You are in denial! open your eyes and smell the coffee

  • NotAsStupidAsYou

    So basically…you suck at this. Maybe tennis is your thing…give it serious consideration…

    • ThankfulWriter

      Your right! Really off the mark with ” the Bills will be traveling to the West Coast to play at Candlestick… you have a recipe for a shutdown, blowout game.” I think that game was only 45-3…

      But, of course, we are going to disregard the 100% accuracy in the Bills vs. 49er predictions and focus on the Seattle Seahawks, because they are that best team in the NFL.

      Congrats on the win over the 1-4 Panthers, it will hold off the inevitable benching of Russell Wilson until you get demolished against your next COMPETENT opponent. Sure hope that offense that is putting up up sub-20 points per game can win the shootout with the New England Patriots. Enjoy your spot at the bottom of the NFC West ;)

  • shiko1

    what a homer…….i am amazed that you can actually post this drivel
    and expect readers to buy into this……
    where you on drugs when you watched the ram/seahawk game?
    the seahawks ran all over the rams defense and pushed their front
    four consistently off their blocks…….
    we will be waiting for your sorry aXXXX when the rams come to seattle
    to play the hawks and russell wilson has additional game experience
    under his belt…

    • TruthInTheNumbers

      Homer? Isn’t is a Rams fan page?

      You may have got a decent push from your front four, but how many sacks did you get on Bradford? How did Irvin and Clemens do against Wayne Hunter and Barry Richardson (two of the worst offensive tackles in football last season)?
      Congrats on the running game, their is no denying that Lynch is a special player, and the Rams have on a mediocre rushing defense. However, “run all over” apparently doesn’t translated into points on the board, averaging 14.3 points per game over your last three.

      You offense converted only 22% of third down,s 33% in the redzone, and had 3 turnovers. Aside from the opening drive, Seattle had absolutely nothing going beside a couple of good rushes by Lynch, how did those turn out? Two field goals in the second half, after getting shut out in the first half after that first solid drive.

      Wilson won’t even be starting by the time the Rams play you again in Week 17. His game experience will come from watching Matt Flynn get s*** on behind you porous offensive line and over-hyped wide receivers. You had better hope you get the replacement officials back to hand Seattle a couple of games so you can keep you heads above .500.

  • http://twitter.com/Yakimaniacal Yakimaniacal

    Rams? Bwahahahahahaha! One game the sun was shining on a dogs ass and you think it means something? You are RICH! Wait for the Lambs visit to Century Link little fella’, you’ll know pain as a fan that day.

  • kevin

    its fine being a homer..but really..cards being irrelevant? hawks going in down spirtal? If and when the 49ers win @ bills lol you are an idiot

    • ModeratelyEducatedRamsFan

      It says “unjustly sinking them back to irrelevance,” not that they were irrelevant. The Cards weren’t ever relevant in the eye of many analysts anyways, even at 4-0, with analyst giving them only cautious respect in case they flamed out against a tough opponent. Now, the Cards have been exposed offensively, and will continue to get no love from the media, even if they progress as a team…

      The ‘Hawks game was a prediction, but would have caused a down-spiral had they lost the game. The only bright spot in the Seahawks win is that Russell Wilson can keep his job, after throwing 5 interceptions in two weeks, until Seattle gets blown out at home by New England and their 41.5 points per game over the last two weeks. Then Matt Flynn can jump in a help the ‘Hawks to stay at the bottom of the NFC West, where they rightfully belong

      “If and when” is an idiom, used to unnecessarily predicate a statement that will inevitably happen (i.e. the 49ers beating the Bills), but clearly that is over your head looking at your level of grammar. So, saying the 49ers will win makes me an idiot? Saying it will be a “shutdown, blowout game” probably it idiotic too… oh wait, the the final score was 45-3. Sounds line that would be a perfect way to describe the game ;)

      Maybe that clears everything up for you… maybe. You should look at the predictions in context of the rest of the article before attempting to call someone an idiot…

      • kevin

        wow you’re even dumber then the idiot who wrote these “predictions”…your pathetic lambs win against the then undefeated cardinals and now you guys assume you are better then the seahawks and cardinals lmao and are you serious with the “hawks to stay at the bottom of the NFC West, where they rightfully belong” lol you guys have made that a home 4 of the last 5 years..and thats cause i didnt bother checking passed 07..but hey congrats on beating the the cardinals and seahawks..who as you well know cant score oh and yea and also beating the redskins lol i’ll mail you a gold sticker later on for your accomplishment on beating “great teams”

        • YouDon’tMakeSense

          I know being a Seahawks fan you don’t really understand the idea of “progression” as an organization, but that is what happens when teams get better over time. So, anchoring the bottom of the NFC West over the past, however long, doesn’t really matter that much this season… does it?

          Thanks for the stick though… I will put it right next to the Super Bowl trophy and the signed Kevin Durant jersey from the Seattle Supersonics.

          And hell, you really should be proud of those wins against the Carolina Panther (1-4) and Dallas Cowboys (2-2)… and well, the kind-of-win over the Green Bay Packers (2-3). It is interesting that you don’t have a legitimate win, or any win for that matter, against a team with a winning record and are still talking s***. The Rams are 2-1 against teams with a winning record, and have played against two teams that are currently 4-1.

          Maybe, I should return that sticker to you “for your accomplishment on beating “great teams”? Oh wait, you have lost to every decent team you have played so far :) You can have an “A” for effort though, maybe enough of those will get you into the playoffs