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NFC West Lookaround: Updates on Cardinals, 49ers & Seahawks

How is the division looking after week 5?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams were off Sunday, having enjoyed a celebratory weekend of rest following a Thursday night win over the Seahawks, but the 49ers and Cardinals went down to the wire in rookie QB Trey Lance’s first start. Where do things stand in the NFC West after the first five weeks of the season? Tune in to this week’s Lookaround for all that and more. (Cue cheesy theme song music.)

TGIF * Turf Show Family!

*Thank Goodness It’s Football

Seahawks defense stinks again in loss to Rams...but I can’t put my finger on why

Speaking of finger injuries, Russell Wilson received one about as ugly as his team’s uniforms were on Thursday night. If you’re wondering which finger, let’s just say it’ll be the one he’ll be flippin’ to management on his way out of Seattle this offseason.

Wilson suffered a ruptured tendon in the middle finger on his right hand in the third quarter when it banged against Aaron Donald’s arm just as he released a deep throw. The broadcast had showed the tip of Wilson’s finger unnaturally bent downward. I’m not going to put a link to it in here so Google it on your own time should you be so inclined.

The injury is expected to keep Wilson sidelined at least four to eight weeks. Next Sunday night when the Seahawks play the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’ll snap his streak of 149 consecutive starts. That was the longest active streak by a starting quarterback since the 1970 merger when only Peyton Manning started more consecutive games (208) to begin his career.

Until then, wishing you a speedy recovery Mr. Lion Heart:

In Russell’s absence, in came the Geno Smith show, possibly coming to a streaming service near you. The former New York Jets castoff stepped in and closed the gap on a 98-yard drive, completing all five of his pass attempts including a touchdown to DK Metcalf to top it all off:

Smith finished 10-of-17 passing for 132 yards with the touchdown to Metcalf and a pick which sealed the game for LA. Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett was very impressed with the way Smith came in and carried himself after Wilson went down.

“I thought Geno did an incredible job,” Lockett said via NFL.com. “We were on what, the 3-yard line and he drove us all the way down there. Shoot, he did an incredible job. That was a big-time drive, he was very patient, reading through everything, all his keys. He really did phenomenal, I was really happy for him. I told him I was proud of him the way he played. We all know he can play like that, and when he got his opportunity, he showed out, and I was just happy for him.”

Head Coach Pete Carroll was also impressed with Geno, and has to feel better about the Hawks’ chances in the coming weeks:

“I went right to Geno afterward and just said, ‘You know, you’ve been waiting a long time for your opportunity, and the faith that you’ve shown in our program and in us to stay with us, I was so proud.’”

Carroll probably wasn’t as proud in his defense, which also put together a showing as ugly as their unis. (I don’t actually hate their uniforms that much, I’m just jealous that I could never pull off all neon green anything.) Seattle is giving up yardage in bunches as demonstrated by the 476 they gave up to the Rams. To give you a visual into how bad it’s been this year:

The Seahawks are also on pace to become one of the worst defensive units in NFL history:

Yikes-a-roni and cheese Batman. Legion of Boom they are not anymore.

Next Week: The Hawks travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Add Geno Smith to the list of quarterbacks better than Ben Roethlisberger this season. But with the play of Seattle’s defense, Big Ben might throw for over 500 yards with ease on them.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals defense keeps them perfect in spoiling Lance’s debut

If anyone continues to doubt Arizona, their critics are being silenced more and more by the week. This week, the Cardinals dispatched the San Francisco 49ers 17-10 to remain perfect on the season, moving to 5-0 for the first time since 1974. The win was attributed to a strong defensive effort in shutting down rookie quarterback Trey Lance who was making his first career start.

Safety Budda Baker had an interception and Defensive end J.J. Watt had his best game since moving to the desert in the offseason. Watt didn’t stuff the stat sheet but his presence was felt all afternoon. Niners running back Elijah Mitchell felt it as Watt stuffed him for a loss in the first quarter.

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Kyler Murray finished 22-of-31 for 239 yards and a touchdown. DeAndre Hopkins led the team in receiving with six catches for 87 yards and this absolutely ridiculous touchdown grab over Josh Norman, aka the league’s favorite tackle dummy:

Hopkins made a little history during the game too by surpassing a Cardinals legend:

Rookie pass catcher Rondale Moore put on a show himself in doing just a little bit of everything. He carried the ball three times for 38 yards and added five receptions for 59 yards, 33 of which came on this throw from Murray about midway through the second quarter:

Scanning across the opposite sideline, Trey Lance didn’t have much of a day to remember in his first career start in place of Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance was 15-of-29 passing for 192 yards and an interception, finishing with a 58.4 passer rating. Trey also led San Fran in rushing with 89 yards on 16 carries.

The game appears to be a one-week audition for Lance as Jimmy G is expected to be the starter next week against the Colts as long as he’s healthy.

“Trey Lance is not, from what I understand, expected to hold on to the job regardless of what happens today, if Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy next week, it is going to be his job,” NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported. “That is something that Kyle Shanahan has been consistent about, Trey Lance cannot win the job today.”

I fully understand the need to break in a rookie QB slowly, but they can’t learn if the head coach refuses to take the child locks off the offense. With rookies, you sometimes have to go with the good and the bad, and hope the bad is few and far between. Mistakes are crucial for a young player’s development because they can only learn so much on the bench. However, with a play like this from Lance, why not take a chance with the youngster?

Especially considering this is how they’ve been moving the ball on offense with him under center:

Next Week: Arizona will head to Cleveland to take the Browns to the Super Bowl. Okay, that was a disgusting joke and I promise to never say that again in the future. San Francisco will have a bye week and had better take a closer look at their quarterback situation. I repeat: JIMMY G ISN’T THE ANSWER SHANAHAN! I REALLY HOPE YOU’RE READING THIS!

Poll

Which NFC West team has been off to the most surprising start so far this season?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Arizona Cardinals (5-0)
    (262 votes)
  • 2%
    Los Angeles Rams (4-1)
    (7 votes)
  • 9%
    Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
    (29 votes)
  • 5%
    San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
    (16 votes)
314 votes total Vote Now