With a win against the San Francisco 49ers, the Los Angeles Rams improved to 7-0 and increased the division lead over an idle Seattle Seahawks to 3.5 games. Starting next week, I’ll use this column to look at playoff scenarios. While the division is essentially a lock for the Rams, the Seahawks are in battle for a wild card. With the Green Bay Packers sitting on the second wild card spot at 3-2-1, there’s reason to believe that the 10-6 threshold that set the bar for NFC playoff teams last year will be lowered this season.
Denver Broncos 45, Arizona Cardinals 10
Passing: Josh Rosen 21-39, 194 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs
Rushing: David Johnson 14 carries, 39 yards
Receiving: Christian Kirk 3 catches, 57 yards
Cardinals (1-6) head coach Steve Wilks started this week by saying that the jobs of the coaching staff (himself included) were in jeopardy if they didn’t come out with a win on Thursday Night Football. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was the first to be let go after this Thursday night shellacking. The offensive overhaul is a good start; they rank dead last in total yards and rushing yards and next-to-last in passing yards and points per game. Rosen had a nightmare of a game, committing 5 turnovers, taking 6 sacks, and averaging less than 5 yards per pass attempt. The defense deserves no pass either, surrendering 4 touchdowns to a Broncos team that is in the bottom half of offensive teams. The Cardinals are a broken team and very obviously looking for a high draft pick in the Spring.
Next Week: vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
Los Angeles Rams 39, San Francisco 49ers 10
Passing: C.J. Beathard 15-27, 170 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Rushing: Raheem Mostert 7 carries, 59 yards
Receiving: George Kittle 5 catches, 98 yards, 1 TD
The 49ers (1-6) had a very similar performance to their partners in the bottom of the NFC West. 4 turnovers, 7 sacks, a blocked punt and a 22-0 start for the Rams made for a long day. Perhaps some pride was saved when the NFL flexed this out of the original prime time slate (for a game that was even more lopsided, but i digress) after the injury to Jimmy Garoppolo. Similar to the Cardinals, the 49ers most important day coming forward is Draft Day 2019, where a top-5 pick is on their way in hopes for a bounce-back season.
Next Week: at the Arizona Cardinals (1-6)
*Note: The Seattle Seahawks were on a bye in Week 7. They play at the Detroit Lions (3-3) in Week 8.