By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
I think the NFC West may be trying to give their fans heart attacks. All four games had major drama, including an almost huge comeback, a last-minute win, a surprise loss, and a team who won’t give up.
The Seattle Seahawks sit on top of the division, still undefeated, while the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Arizona Cardinals all sit with just one loss. In a season where one game can change everything, let’s take a look at what the week 3 games meant in the toughest division in football, and where they are heading.
Detroit Lions 26
Arizona Cardinals 23
As I said in my preview article, I thought the Lions would be greatly improved with the return of wide receiver Kenny Golladay. In this instance, I was correct. Where I was completely wrong was in picking the Cardinals to win. The Lions were winless so far in the season and I thought the explosive Cardinal offense would be too much for the Lions. Not so much.
Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and Lions QB Matthew Stafford has similar stats. Both had exactly 270 yards, had good completion percentages, and both had 2 touchdown passes. Where they differed was in interceptions. While Stafford had 0 interceptions on the day, Murray had 3, which often gave the Lions very favorable field position.
Cardinals wide receiver, and Murray’s favorite target, DeAndre Hopkins, had another fantastic day with 10 receptions and 137 yards. Arizona pulled ahead in the 3rd quarter, but just couldn’t hold on, and the Lions defense was just good enough to steal the win from the Cardinals.
Next up for the Cardinals, they head across the country to face the 1-2 Carolina Panthers.
#49ers who will not play vs. Giants:
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle)
RB Raheem Mostert (knee)
RB Tevin Coleman (knee)
DE Dee Ford (back)
TE George Kittle (knee)
LB Dre Greenlaw (quad)
CB Richard Sherman (calf/IR) https://t.co/iBqRn35UXV
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) September 25, 2020
San Francisco 49ers 36
New York Giants. 9
Beat up and bloodied. That’s the only way to describe the San Francisco 49ers. However, even as injured as they are, they have no intention of giving up on the season. After beating the New York Jets last week at MetLife Stadium, they returned to the same battlefield and met the New York Giants and won again, which says more about the status of the Giants than it does the 49ers.
Both New York teams are complete disasters this season, but that shouldn’t take away from what the 49ers did. Back up QB Nick Mullens had a strong day, throwing for 343 yards and 1 TD. But San Francisco knew where their strengths and the Giants’ weaknesses lie, so Mullens would work his way down the field, then have the run game take over. Running backs Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr, and WR Brandon Aiyuk all ran in touchdowns, with Wilson also getting a receiving TD.
The Giants’ defense sacked Mullens twice and had 7 QB hits, but the Giants offense just couldn’t keep up their end of the game. The San Francisco defense held New York to just 66 yards on the ground and 179 total in passing.
San Francisco faces a somewhat tougher opponent in week 4, playing the Philadelphia Eagles, but won’t go up against a serious opponent until week 6 when they have a divisional game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Los Angeles Rams 32
Buffalo Bills 35
Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, or so the saying goes. The Rams were SO CLOSE…yet didn’t finish it out.
The Buffalo Bills are one of the best teams in the AFC, so the Rams knew going in this was bound to be a battle. And even though the Buffalo defense was doing everything in their power to give this game away, and the Rams coming back from a 28-3 deficit, the Bills managed to pull out the win.
The Bills defense allowed a 100-yard rusher in RB Darrell Henderson Jr and allowed WR Cooper Kupp an over 100-yard day too. Both teams QBs looked good, throwing for over 300 yards. But the star of the show was, once again, Rams defensive end Aaron Donald who sacked Bills QB Josh Allen twice and had 3 QB hits. He was throwing people all over the field and was vital to getting the Bills offense off the field.
While the Rams lost this game, it proved that in football you can never trust a lead. Allen said he probably got too relaxed with the lead they had.
Life gets a bit easier for the Rams next week, where they will face off against the struggling New York Giants.
Dallas Cowboys 31
Seattle Seahawks 38
When the media picks its “Game of the Week” they pick a game they think will be the most interesting to fans, the most competitive. They nailed it on the head when they picked the Cowboys at Seattle.
From the beginning, we knew we’d see a quarterback showcase. Seattle QB Russell Wilson is playing his best season ever and is in the MVP conversation. Dallas QB Dak Prescott is playing under a franchise tag and is showing his best in hopes to get a huge contract. Add to that both teams are having problems on defense, we knew it was going to be a high scoring game.
In the 3rd quarter, the Seahawks had a 15 point lead after 2 touchdowns to Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett, who ended up having 3 on the day. But Dallas wasn’t ready to go home with a loss, exploiting the Seattle secondary and pulling the game within 2 points. It came down to Wilson’s amazing 2-minute drill expertise, and a good stop by the Seahawks defense, to grab the win late in the 4th quarter.
While Wilson broke an NFL record, having 14 touchdowns in just 3 games, most Seattle fans are talking defensive woes the day after this win. Seattle has major injuries and pretty big holes to fill if they want to keep their undefeated status.
Seattle will head to the sun state next, taking on the Miami Dolphins.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG