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

How are things looking around the division after Week 3?

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

TGIF* Turf Show family!

*Thank Goodness It’s Football

Before I begin addressing how Sunday played out for our frenemies in the NFC West, I’d like to start out by saying how thankful I am for being dead wrong. I’ve never been happier to be so wrong in my life. Okay, maybe that’s not true, but having the Rams win a game after writing a piece predicting they were going to lose has to be a close second.

Anyways, Los Angeles remains undefeated on the season and so has another one of their divisional mates. Find out who that is and more on this week’s edition of the NFC West Lookaround (cue cheesy theme song music).

Cardinals hold off winless, self-destructive Jaguars

For a good portion of the afternoon, Arizona looked to be on upset alert against a team that had lost 17 straight heading in. The Jaguars ended up losing number 18 in a 31-19 loss and order was once again restored in the universe.

The Cardinals moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2015, a year in which they made it to the NFC Championship. This clearly didn’t come easy as Jacksonville led 19-10 midway through the third quarter on a short touchdown run by James Robinson.

Urban Meyer, who hasn’t jumped ship to USC yet (emphasis on yet) got a momentum shift before halftime when Cardinals kicker Matt Prater attempted his best Justin Tucker impression. Jaguars return specialist Jamal Agnew returned the missed 68-yard kick for an NFL-record 109 yards in this weird play below:

Arizona’s defense clamped up and prevented further momentum in the second half as they forced four turnovers out of top overall pick Trevor Lawrence (two fumbles and interceptions apiece). In case you were wondering for some reason, Lawrence is on pace to throw 40 interceptions this season, 12 over the rookie mark set by Peyton Manning. At least he would be in elite company then.

Cornerback Byron Murphy caught both of Lawrence’s interceptions so he must have gotten an excellent buy-one-get-one free deal. On his second pick, Murphy returned in to the house on a dreadful botched flea flicker.

On the offensive side of the ball, A.J. Green led the team in receiving with 112 yards, his first 100-yard day since 2018 with the Bengals. Pass catcher Christian Kirk also reached the century mark by catching seven passes for 104 yards. Kyler Murray finished 28-of-34 for 316 yards and an interception while adding a touchdown run. With his run, Murray tied an NFL legend whom he most definitely shared the same athletic abilities with:

Next Week: The Cardinals travel to SoFi to take on their undefeated divisional counterparts in the Rams who they’ve lost eight-straight matchups to. Let’s hope I won’t be wrong this week.

Related: Rams game-by game predictions for the 2021 season

Minnesota gives Seahawks a Viking funeral in second-straight defeat

How noble of the Minnesota Vikings to give the Seattle Seahawks a Viking funeral. It’s hard not to laugh at the Seahawks for losing again but I guess I should stay professional and cancel the shipment of a cake reading “you tried” in frosting to their team facilities.

Seattle lost a game in which Kirk Cousins absolutely lit up their “defense”. Cousins continued his hot start to the season and made sure his team wouldn’t lose another heart-breaker like the first couple weeks. Minnesota gained 453 total yards despite star running back Dalvin Cook being ruled out for the game.

While this game was very forgettable for the 12s, Russell Wilson passed a Hall of Famer on his touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Wilson finished 23-of-32 for 298 yards and a touchdown to DK Metcalf but it was far from a vintage performance. Metcalf has had a semi-quiet start to the season but came out with bang on the Seahawks first possession:

DK had six receptions for 107 yards and that touchdown. After having two games over the century mark in the first two games, Tyler Lockett was silenced in having only four catches for 31 yards.

Next Week: The Seahawks travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers in a must-win game to avoid falling further into the division's basement. I’m obviously not one to root for the Niners but every time Pete Carroll loses, an angel gets its wings so go ahead and make it three in a row SF!

Rodgers makes swiss cheese of 49ers in walk-off win

Just a general rule of thumb, you should never give an all-world quarterback like Aaron Rodgers a lot of time on the clock. With 37 seconds and no timeouts to work with, Rodgers methodically led Green Bay down the field just in time for kicker Mason Crosby’s winning field goal:

The 30-28 loss to the Packers dropped San Francisco from the ranks of the unbeaten and spoiled their 2021 home opener. Green Bay’s comeback spoiled the 49ers first game with fans since beating the Packers in the 2019 NFC Championship.

Jimmy G played a hand in rallying the Niners from 17 points down but this role was his undoing as he lost a fumble while the team was down three. The fumble allowed GB to kick a field goal to go up 27-21. Trey Lance, otherwise known as the guy she told you not to worry about, scored his first rushing touchdown to bring the team within 10 at the break:

With the slow start on offense, fans are wondering when the Lance ship will set sail. All the other rookie first-rounders have gotten starts for their respective teams. Heck, even Davis Mills has started for the Texans and he did reasonably not terrible, so why should Shanahan be worried about putting him in the starting role? He seriously can’t do much worse than Lawrence or Zach Wilson.

Next Week: The Niners will host the Seahawks and as I mentioned above, just win SF that’s all I want for Christmas, besides my two front teeth.