The St. Louis Rams pulled off the big upset and proved that the 24-24 tie in Candlestick Park wasn’t just a case of the Rams catching the mighty 49ers on an off day. It was a huge win for the Rams as it keeps them undefeated in the NFC West and improved their very slim playoff odds. Of course Seahawks fans were also very happy about the Rams upsetting the division leading 49ers as it improves their chances of overtaking them for the division title following their win in Chicago. A couple of big things happened over the weekend, the Rams finally got a win against an elite team and the Seahawks finally beat a decent team on the road, the NFC West should be a very entertaining division down the stretch. So what are folks here in the Inland Northwest talking about following a wild weekend of football?
Russell Wilson. Last week I wrote in this article that if Wilson can play a good game against the Bears on the road I will start to give him more credit. Well here it is, Wilson is a heck of a good quarterback especially for a rookie. Of course most folks around here are throwing around “great” or “rookie of the year” along with that. In fact ESPN.com’s Mike Sando (NFC West blogger) wrote an article comparing Wilson to Luck in their games against 7 common opponents and how that should factor into the ROY discussion. Comparing Wilson and Luck is all fine and good, but RGIII has played better than both of them this season so its a meaningless exercise. Sando should have put up a chart of RGIII vs. Wilson against common opponents, but Sando is a former Seahawks beat writer and probably didn’t want to make his golden boy look bad. Wilson has been a heck of a find for the Seahawks, and could end up being the best QB they have ever drafted, which actually isn’t that impressive but still. I have heard a lot of “great” being attached to Wilson in conversation, and I will say he has great poise but that is the last time I will use great to describe Wilson this season. It is far to early to start tagging him as “great”, “great” should be reserved for the truly elite players like Manning or Brady. Again I am not trying to take away from Wilson here, but people should just temper their excitement a little bit. Consider this little nugget of information, Seattle has the 7th ranked run game and 4th ranked total defense and is coming off back to back 7-9 seasons. Indianapolis has the 18th ranked run game and 21st ranked total defense coming off a 2-14 season. Washington has the 1st overall run game (35.6% of their rushing yards are by RGIII) and 29th ranked total defense coming off a 5-11 season.
Playoff Chase. The Seahawks are currently firmly rooted in the 6th seed for the NFC with what appears to be a favorable final four games, although they are currently 0-3 against 3 of the teams on their schedule. With the 49ers loss to the Rams over the weekend Seahawks fans are starting to talk as if the division title is already theirs. Yes the 49ers have the tougher remaining schedule as they have to play New England while the Seahawks play the Bills. Of course one reason Seahawks fans are so confident is that 3 of their remaining games are at home, where they are currently 5-0, so naturally they will just run the table at home to finish no worse than 10-6 right? Of course if you believe a perfect home record is as good as money in the bank, then you must believe that a win-less within the division record means something too right? The Seahawks could just as easily finish the season at 7-9 again as they will finish at 11-5, the difference between winning and losing in the NFL is so small that nothing should be taken for granted. As for their ability to catch the 49ers, the Seahawks will have to finish with more wins than the 49ers do in order to win the division (that tie isn’t so bad afterall), which as I look at the schedules will probably require the 49ers to lose the New England and have the Seahawks win out. While this is possible, it seems unlikely at this point that the 49ers will only win 2 of their remaining four games, or that Seattle will win out.
Of course both of those things are probably more likely than the Rams making the playoffs this year, but at least the Rams still have hope which is something that hasn’t been true very often in December. Go Rams!!!