With the Los Angeles Rams’ monster win over the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday night, LA holds the top spot in the NFC West for the time being. This was due in part to the Cardinals’ loss to Detroit on Sunday (yeah, I’m not Lion to ya). Not only did Arizona lose, but the 49ers took care of the hapless Falcons as well. Let’s get down to how things look around the division after a crazy weekend of football.
Jared Goffs a triple bogey in Detroit’s win over Cardinals
Dear Jared Goff,
Thank you for our early Christmas present of beating Arizona 30-12. Because of you, the Rams have a chance to take the NFC West crown due to holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals. See, I knew you still had a little soft spot for ol’ LA! Thank you again and try not to spoil your appetite by biting all those kneecaps before dinner.
Turf Show Times
This game was arguably the biggest WTF result of the entire weekend. It was just a terrible loss all the way around for Arizona, and put them alongside some less-than-elite company:
Welcome to the Can’t Beat The Lions Club, Kyler Murray! pic.twitter.com/QtAexHTbQu— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) December 19, 2021
Oopsies, that wasn’t the company I meant, but what a flattering picture of Kyler I might add. I actually meant this elusive company:
How INSANE is the Lions win over the Cardinals?— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) December 19, 2021
It is the first time in NFL HISTORY, a team with 1 win or fewer beat a 10+ win team by double-digits. pic.twitter.com/lgWEUvZZlR
The 10-3 Cardinals lost to the 1-11-1 Lions— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 19, 2021
This is the 3rd time since 1970 that a team w/ the NFL's worst record beat a team w/ the best record (incl tied records), min. 8 gms each
The prev. 2 teams to lose — 1995 Cowboys & 2004 Patriots — went on to win Super Bowl that season
Let’s hope the Redbirds don’t end up joining the ‘95 Cowboys and ‘04 Patriots on that list. Maybe this game won’t matter in the end for Arizona, but it’ll still be hilarious troll game material for LA fans. Kyler Murray was disappointing, going 23-of-41 for 257 yards, a touchdown and an interception, finishing with a 72.9 passer rating. The one touchdown pass he had was pretty nice:
Lions CB Amani Oruwariye with the incredible pick! pic.twitter.com/IjNAb2RO4o— USA TODAY NFL (@usatodaynfl) December 19, 2021
Darn it, did I just make a whoopsies again? Sorry, this is really the aforementioned touchdown:
That touchdown snag was one of Christian Kirk’s nine receptions on the afternoon, for 94 yards. Tight end Zach Ertz also added six catches for 74 yards. One or both of those pass catchers will have to step up since news of DeAndre Hopkins’ injury was announced after the Rams game last week. Don’t worry, D-Hop will be back in time for the NFC Championship. While wishing Hopkins a speedy recovery, Los Angeles fans are hoping the Cardinals won’t even make it that far to give him a chance for a comeback.
Next Week: The Cardinals will host the Indianapolis Colts on Christmas Day. Nothing like celebrating the birth of Jesus by watching Jonathan Taylor shred your division rival’s defense like a honey baked ham.
49ers put the “L” in “Falcons” in blowout win over Atlanta
The San Francisco 49ers keep their stranglehold on a potential playoff berth alive in a 31-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta on the other hand continued their fade into nothingness as they have since blowing a Super Bowl they should’ve won easily.
Let’s get into it: Jimmy Garoppolo had yet another solid effort at the office, going 18-of-23 for 235 yards and a touchdown. Don’t look now, but Jimmy G is smoking hot right now and I’m not just talking looks am I right ladies? His hot streak is helping push SF into the playoffs. For further evidence, look no further than the passer ratings he’s strung together over the last several weeks:
Most games with a 90+ QB Rating over last 8 weeks:— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) December 20, 2021
Jimmy Garoppolo 8
Aaron Rodgers 5
Joe Burrow 5
Kirk Cousins 5
Ben Roethlisberger 5
9 players tied 4
Folks... Jimmy G is RED hot. pic.twitter.com/txxj0HIYtK
While we’re on the topic of hot streaks, here’s a couple more that’ll make any loyal Rams fan cringe. Tight end George Kittle was the Niners’ leading receiver, snagging six passes for 93 yards. With the way he’s been playing for the last three weeks, I think someone is striving to stretch National Tight Ends Day into a whole month:
George Kittle's first 8 games this season: 35 catches, 425 yards, 3 TD.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 20, 2021
George Kittle's last 3 games: 28 catches, 425 yards, 3 TD.
His 425 yards over a 3-game span are tied for the most ever by a TE in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/H8DdI10U8i
Another pass catcher, or whatever Kyle Shanahan has in store for Deebo Samuel, the 49ers do-it-all stud rushed for yet another touchdown:
Deebo Samuel’s MVP consideration continues to pick up pic.twitter.com/Ae5M63uDQW— Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) December 19, 2021
It’s far-fetched to believe that Samuel has a chance for winning MVP as it’s nothing but a “Best QB” award. If Shanahan dialed up more passing plays and Deebo was throwing dimes for touchdowns like Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers, maybe there’d be a stronger case for him. Nevertheless, Samuel is on quite a tear that has rarely been seen in NFL history:
Deebo Samuel has a rushing TD in 5 straight games.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 19, 2021
The longest streak by a WR since the merger pic.twitter.com/gtqmpfJqIB
This touchdown run was historic in that in was his seventh of the season. Samuel is the 49ers second-leading rusher after rookie Elijah Mitchell and leads the team in rushing touchdowns. To put that into perspective, no wide receiver in the Super Bowl era (since 1966), has ever led their respective team in rushing touchdowns. He was already the third player in NFL history with 1,000 receiving yards, five touchdown catches and five rushing touchdowns in the same season, joining Roger Craig (1985) and Marshall Faulk (1999). As a fan of the game, I would enjoy seeing Samuel get this record just for the historical value it’ll hold. What Deebo and his opponent on Sunday, Cordarrelle Patterson are doing currently will open the floodgates of position-less football and I for one am all for it. Imagine what Sean McVay could do with a player of Samuel’s caliber.
Next Week: The Niners travel to Nashville to take on the Titans on Thursday Night Football. Both teams are in the playoff hunt so this should make for one exciting Christmas Eve-Eve.
Seahawks’ long-shot playoff odds Rammed in loss to Los Angeles
The Seattle Seahawks won’t be defending their NFC West crown any longer after a 20-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday Night Football. Of course, any reasonable fan and sportscaster could see that the Seahawks had zero chance from a mile away. The only ones who didn’t seem to get the message were the Seahawks. This loss ended quite an impressive streak for the franchise:
Falling to the Rams earlier tonight, the #Seahawks streak of consecutive seasons above .500 ends at 9. Only 4 teams in the Super Bowl Era (1966-) have had a longer such run: Cowboys (20 from 1966-84), Patriots (19 from 2001-19), 49ers (16 from 1983-98), Raiders (15 from 1966-80)— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) December 22, 2021
This season marks the first losing campaign of Russell Wilson’s storied NFL career. Russell hasn’t endured a losing season in quite a while:
The last time Russell Wilson had a losing season, he was a sophomore at NC State (2009). pic.twitter.com/9OTwSwDSKs— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) December 22, 2021
Wilson was injured for a few weeks earlier in the season, but he has a losing record in the 11 games he’s started (4-7). He clearly didn’t have a signature game, going 17-of-31 for 156 yards and an interception, finishing with a 55.3 passer rating. His heart doesn’t seem to belong to Seattle any longer. Who could blame him when he’s stuck with an ancient offensive game plan orchestrated by his gum-addict of a head coach. Russ probably has his eyes set on greener pastures in the offseason and again, who could blame him?
Seattle had a promising start, eventually taking a 10-3 lead early in the third quarter off a rushing touchdown scored by assistant to the starting running back DeeJay Dallas:
Then after that, shiitake hit the fan for the Seahawks, Pete forgot the USC job got filled and became so depressed that the team failed to score the rest of the night. The cracks in the Seahawks organization have been showing for a number of years now. Seattle’s rein is over now and they should commit to a full-scale rebuild and embrace the suck. Besides, they don’t have anymore first-rounders to waste on players who can’t perform to the best of their abilities.
Next Week: The Seahawks won’t be traveling anywhere (lucky for them as airports will be crazy busy after Christmas). Instead, they get a home matchup against Chicago. Seattle players could show up to the game stuffed full of Christmas dinner and hungover on eggnog and still whoop the Bears by 30.