Who would have thought before this season started that everything would unfold like this! We are heading into the 7th week of the season, and everything in the NFL is strange right now. The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints haven't been dominating, the Dallas Cowboys have only won 1 game, and the NFL is telling players to stop the helmet to helmet hits. With all the confusion going on the media is forgetting to talk about the NFC West who have 3 teams over .500.
The NFC West is one of the most interesting divisions in football this season. You have 3 teams, Rams, Cardinals, and Seahawks with 3 wins and a win within the division. If that isn't interesting enough than throw in the 49ers although they only have one win, it would take a lot to convince me that they don't have the best all-around team in the NFC West. After the jump we will go a little deeper into these teams.
San Francisco 49ers
If you asked anyone before the season started who would win the NFC West it would have been the 49ers. However winning 1 game going into the 7th week of the season has to be a letdown for their organization. It's hard to point to why they are having a tough time. Could the 49ers QB Alex Smith be the one to blame for the bad record? Is it because of their head coach Mike Singletary?
This team reminds me of the Cowboys, both teams have been major letdowns so far and they have the talent to win the games that they have lost. This organization did everything they could to make Smith a good player this season and it just hasn't clicked thus far, as for Mike Singletary it just doesn't seem like he can right the ship. They still have a great defense which should be enough to keep them in games however, and if Alex Smith can become consistent they could get a winning streak or two going forward.
Biggest surprise: The lack of clutchness by the 49ers in their close games, look at the Saints and the Falcon games.
Biggest disappointment: The passing offense Alex Smith has been showing flashes this season but hasn't put it all together yet. Also besides last week when was the last time you heard Micheal Crabtree name?
Reason for optimism: They won their first game, and the rest of their schedule could be a breeze if they play to their potential.
Going into the season I thought that the Seahawks would be horrible, and would end up playing for Andrew Luck at the end of the season. In my defense Mike Williams was their starting receiver, injury prone Matt Hasselbeck was the QB, and their defense was suspect. I was wrong, but how good are the Seahawks really?
This is the most up and down team in the division. When they win they do it barely, but when they loss they get blown out. However their run defense is ranked number 2 in the NFL. They forced the Bears to zero first downs, and the 49ers to 1. Also Lynch being added to the Seahawks make their backfield more dangerous with their own version of the 3 headed monster.
Biggest surprise: Pete Caroll bringing his college intensity to the NFL.
Biggest dissapointment: Lack of pass rush, I know they had 6 sacks against the Bears but hell everyone gets at least 3 sacks on the Bears.
Reason for optimism: The Seahawks have won three games three different ways. First game it was offense, then is was the special teams, and after that it was because of their defense.
Going into the season it seemed easy to say that if the 49ers didn't win the division then the Cardinals would have it. They lost Boldin this off season but they still had Larry and the rest of the gang at wide receiver, they added a couple pieces but for the most part the main ingredients were still there. However not having Kurt Warner is really hurting them, They are on their 3rd QB going into week 7, and the reason that they are on their third QB is because they haven't performed.
Bring in the young spunky undrafted kid Max Hall. Many people would think that this means the Cards are getting ready for the future, however I think their coaching staff is choosing the QB they think gives them the best chance to win. All Max Hall has to do is give his play makers the ball and manage the game. Plus the Cardinals still have a play making defense. So although Mas Hall might be a liability sometimes the Cardinals are still solid around all phases of the game so it shouldn't hurt as much.
Biggest surprise: Max Hall starting so soon was the biggest surprise.
Biggest disappointment: Lack of a running game, it would be good for an undrafted rookie to hand the ball off and know he won;t have to work harder to get the first downs.
Reason for optimism: If they beat the Seahawks they would be in first place and it would give the rookie more confidence.
Who would have thought that the Rams would have three wins this early, and could potentially have had 5 wins. The Rams starting rookie Sam Bradford who only had Steven Jackson to hand the ball to, and no receiving help. The defense was horrible last season, so of course it would continue. Well they were wrong the defense is playing great and Sam Bradford is better than any QB who played for us last year.
However even though the Rams have lost two starting receivers they just keep rolling. They still are a young team and to be honest they have been overachieving quite a bit. However it would be dumb to say they can't have a good season. It all depends on what happens before the bye week, because after that the season turns brutal Also from what the Rams have showed thus far I don't think their offense is consistent enough to score more than 20 points a game. However If the Rams can win these next two games and at least make it to .500 after they could be on their way to the playoffs.
Biggest surprise: Danny Amendola many people had him losing his spot to Mardy Gilyard and maybe not even making the team(me included). However he has been playing great ball.
Biggest disappointment: It has to be the coaches for me. The Arizona game where Sam looked to the sidelines to see if they wanted him to spike the ball or go for it, keeping Steven Jackson in the game against the Lions where he ended up tackling Suh, always throwing in the redzone instead of trying to pound it more than once.
Reason for optimism: Sam Bradford every week he shows the Rams something different last week was the ability to throw the ball away when their wasn't nothing their or busted plays.