The St. Louis Rams kept their incredibly slim playoff hopes alive with their gritty come from behind win in Buffalo on Sunday. The Seattle Seahawks made the Arizona Cardinals look like the other team in a Harlem Globetrotters game. The Cardinals were comically bad, until they weren’t, shortly after halftime I stopped laughing at their ineptitude and started to feel bad for them. Especially for the defense who has played incredible football during the season, somehow managing to maintain a top 10 overall defensive ranking in spite of their offenses utter ineptitude. This week there are only two topics that will be discussed so lets get to it.
Dec 9, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals special teams Patrick Peterson (21) fumbles the ball on a punt and which later recovered and returned for a touchdown by Seattle Seahawks special teams player Malcolm Smith (not pictured) during the 1st half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
58-0. Does anything else need to be written? Perhaps I should have spelled it out fifty eight to zero, or maybe Roman numerals LVIII? Obviously no amount of words could properly describe just how thoroughly the Arizona Cardinals were beaten. Prior to the game it was all but a certainty that the hapless Cardinals, riding an 8 game losing streak, would travel to Seattle and provide Russell Wilson with his first divisional win. No one could have anticipated how little Wilson would be needed to secure the win. In fact Seattle’s offense in general wasn’t even needed as the Arizona offense and special teams continually turned the ball over, check the box score and you will find 8 Arizona turnovers. Seattle defense and special teams provided 14 points off of turnovers as well as drives that started at the Arizona 14, 43, 25, and 40. Surprisingly those 4 drives starting in Arizona territory only managed to net 9 total points, even more surprising is the Seahawks had 4 drives starting inside their own 20 with two of those inside their own 10 resulting in 3 touchdowns and one turnover on downs. I don’t know what to say about this game other than it didn’t appear that the Cardinals were really even trying after falling behind 10-0 early, the Seahawks probably could have scored 80 in this game if they had really pressed.
Division Race. You want to hear something really crazy, the Rams still have a shot to win the NFC West this year. That’s not what you were expecting me to say is it? Well the Rams would have to win out, the 49ers would have to lose out, and the Seahawks would have to beat the 49ers but lose to the Bills and of course the Rams. So technically that is possible, but don’t hold your breath on that one. Earlier in the season it looked like the 49ers just might walk away with the division since the Rams weren’t very good and the Seahawks couldn’t beat anyone on the road. Well times have changed and we have a legitimate divisional race heating up in the NFC West, one that will have its key matchup on Primetime television in week 16 as the Seahawks will host the 49ers. After the Patriots completely undressed the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football it is looking more and more likely that the 49ers and Seahawks could enter that game tied at 9 wins apiece with the division lead at stake. The big difference is that even if Seattle wins that game they will still need to beat the Rams in the final week to secure the division title, where the 49ers will clinch outright with a victory. Most Seahawks fans I talk to are already convinced that they will win out the rest of the season and claim the NFC West division title, because after all they haven’t lost at home yet and they just beat the Cardinals 58-0! Unfortunately for the Seahawks they still have to host the two teams in the NFL they have faced this year that out muscled them, and most likely without their top two cornerbacks. Yes the Seahawks schedule is somewhat favorable down the stretch as the only team they face with a winning record is the 49ers and they get them at home, but the last time those two teams faced each other the Seahawks averaged a mere 4.5 yards per play and 251 total yards of offense. Their defense did a respectable job holding down the then Alex Smith led 49ers, but the Seahawks defense will be without at the very least Brandon Browner and has statistically tapered off a bit since then. The 49ers defense on the other hand has continued to improve and has to be considered the best defense in the league as they rank #2 in rushing yards allowed per game and per attempt, #2 in passing yards allowed, and #2 in third down conversion allowed. It is not an impossible task that the Seahawks face, but it wont be the cakewalk some fans have proclaimed it to be.
No matter what happens over the final three weeks of the season there are going to be some great games played within the division, games with serious playoff implications, that just might lead to another instant classic. Thanks for reading and as always Go Rams!!!