LA Rams appear to be only challenger to Cardinals in NFC West race

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

As the NFL turns to Week 8, it’s as good of a time as any to consider the LA Rams’ nearest and dearest competition: Rivals in the NFC West Division.  After nearly two months of competition, the Rams have earned a record of 6-1. Surprisingly, that is not even good enough for the NFC West, as the Arizona Cardinals have extended their winning streak to seven, and remain the only undefeated team in the NFL.

So what of the rest of the NFC West? I mean, this was projected to be the NFL’s toughest division. You know the old adage: NFC West is the NFL’s Best. But somehow, that memo never made it to the front offices of either the Seattle Seahawks or the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams stand with two wins. The 49ers are 2-4, and the sinking Seattle Seahawks have lost their Monday Night Football contest with the New Orleans Saints and have plummeted to 2-5.

Still, the NFC West has earned an aggregate record of 17-10. So how do the other NFL divisions shake out?

AFC Divisions

In the AFC, the best-of-breed is not better than 5-2, thanks to the Cincinnati Bengals knocking off the Baltimore Ravens. That has created a bit of a log jam between the Tennessee Titans, the Bengals, the Ravens, and the Las Vegas Raiders at 5-2.

With that being said, just how do the AFC divisions stack up in terms of aggregate records?

AFC North: 17-10
AFC West:  15 -12
AFC South: 10-17
AFC East:      9-17

So why talk about this now? Well, for one thing, it’s important to know the quality of NFL teams as they appear on the schedule. The LA Rams will go on the road to face the Houston Texans (1-6) before returning home to face the very tough Tennessee Titans (5-2). While the Titans have had success so far, two of their wins have come against division rivals.

Of course, the Titans have knocked off the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs in the past two games, so they will be a formidable opponent.

NFC Divisions (updated with MNF results)

NFC West:   17 – 10
NFC South:  16 -10
NFC North:  12- 15
NFC East:     11- 16

The NFC West, thanks to the Rams and Cardinals 13-1 combined record, remains the best NFL division for now. We’ll know a bit more after the upcoming Thursday Night Football contest as the Green Bay Packers travel to face the Arizona Cardinals in a game that will add a bit of focus to the NFC leader at mid-season.

The LA Rams can only continue to win, stay close to the NFL leading Cardinals, and prepare to face them again.

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Meanwhile, the Seahawks and 49ers are not out of the playoff race by any means. But with both teams opening the season with records of 2-4, their climb to the playoffs has become much steeper than anyone predicted before the season began.