WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
The Rams and Seahawks both loss in Week 14, so Los Angeles remains one game ahead of Seattle but the two teams will play this Week with the division lead on the line. With an outside shot at a Wild Card berth, Arizona continues to fight, while the 49ers may have found their new franchise Quarterback.
NFL Expert Analyst
2ND HALF PREVIEW
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Let's give credit where credit is due. After becoming a laughing stock and media bashing parade last season in their return to Los Angeles, the Rams are a serious contender in the NFC this year. Led by new Head Coach Sean McVey, a much improved 2nd year Quarterback in Jared Goff, a resurgent Running Back in Todd Gurley, key additions through free agency and a new defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips who has the defense playing lights out. Nobody is laughing at the Rams anymore.
In Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll has been able to keep his most important pieces in place with Quarterback Russell Wilson, Wide Receiver Doug Baldwin and defensive gurus Micheal Bennett, Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman, Cam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. In a nutshell, these guys know how to win and will be right in the thick of things come Playoff time. The biggest concern is staying healthy because the Hawks we're already without key few players and will have a hard time replacing Defensive Back Richard Sherman who is out for the year with ruptured Achilles.
Injuries are unfortunately a part of football that every team has to endure but in Arizona they have come at the two most vital positions, making it almost impossible for the Cardinals to overcome. All Pro Running Back David Johnson was injured for the year during the first game of the season and starting Quarterback Carson Palmer was loss for the season in a Week 7 game against the Rams. The defensive unit is good enough to keep Arizona in games but the offense shows signs at times but is inconsistent across the board.
NFC WEST RECORDS
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The 49ers are another team whose season was already over at the midway point. With an 0-8 record, San Francisco is looking for any positives to take away from the season, as the franchise is in an all out rebuilding stage. There are a few good players on the current roster that the team will build around.