The Rams and 49ers blew out their opponents on opening weekend. It was a dominant performance for LA and SF but that’s in the past with a crucial NFC West battle looming on Sunday. Which team will be able to backup their dominance in Week 2? Or as the media will dub it, Matthew Stafford vs. Brock Purdy Part I.
Sunday's #Rams and #49ers game will feature the 1st matchup between a QB drafted No. 1 overall and a QB taken with the last pick.— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 14, 2023
Who will come out on top: Matthew Stafford or Brock Purdy? #NFL pic.twitter.com/0zQGO5sYCf
Fact is, this game will serve as an indicator as to whether the Rams have a fighting chance against the Niners or playoff-level competition this season. Perhaps an unfair measure of LA so early in the campaign but this is the point we’re at.
I didn’t see the opening performance by Los Angeles as a fluke by any means. LA proved to Seattle and the rest of the league that they aren’t going to be an easy out. While the Seahawks stunk it up at home, I’m convinced they’ll rebound and build off last season’s success. They have key reinforcements coming off injuries that’ll give the defense a boost.
However an 0-2 start for the Seachickens is very realistic as they head to rowdy Ford Field to take on a very feisty Lions squad. Dan Campbell is ready for the noise, will Seattle?
Early indications are that no one will be a cakewalk in the NFC West. Expected basement dweller Arizona surprised with a strong defensive outing against the Commanders. Either the Cardinals are surprisingly decent on defense or Washington was that inept on offense. My bet is that there’s some truth to both statements.
Per @NextGenStats, the #AZCardinals defense had the league's second-highest pressure rate (51.3%) in Week 1.— Arizona Cardinals Insiders (@AZCardsInsiders) September 13, 2023
Even more impressive, they did so without blitzing a lot; only blitzed 7.7% of the time, which was the lowest mark in the league.
I’m thinking that game was more a statement on how mediocre NFC East teams aside from the Cowboys and Eagles will be this season compared to the supposed strength of Arizona’s defense. The Cardinals play the Giants Sunday so there’s another opportunity for them to pad the stats. Let’s wait and see what the Redbirds can do against the alphas before we project them as anything other than an easy win.
One game doesn’t mean a damn thing in the NFL. LA won in convincing fashion against an expected NFC playoff contender in the season opener.
Will they have the firepower to keep up with a Super Bowl favorite in their encore at “Levi’s South”?
Tune in Sunday to find out.