Even though the NFC West was 2-2 over the weekend, all the teams were in the game and showed off their talent. The entire division seemed to escape the week with no serious injuries and with the possibility of Carson Palmer returning this week, things are looking up for the best division in football. This week we also have a good divisional matchup that will be settled on Monday Night Football between the 49ers and the Rams. So with that being said, let’s get right into the NFC West Week 6 Game Previews:
Seattle Seahawks (3-1) vs Dallas Cowboys (4-1) +8
Last week the Seahawks could have, and should have, blown out the Washington Redskins, but they only have themselves to blame, or do they? Star WR Percy Harvin had 3 TDs called back because of penalties and every time they got something going, they seemed to have a pre-snap penalty to put them in a bad position. However, when the dust cleared, they still not only beat the Skins, but they also covered the 7.5 point spread with a late FG in the last minute of the game. Starting QB Russell Wilson was the star of the night, not only doing it in the air, 18-24 for 201 yards and 2 TDs, but also on the ground, 11 rushes for 122 yards and a TD.
Their opponent this week will be the Dallas Cowboys and after playing practically a road game in Dallas against Houston, the Cowboys have shown that they may have a little more huevos than we may have thought. The main reason that everyone will pick Seattle in this game is because they are home and they never seen to lose at home, but I think Dallas has a legitimate chance to go into Seattle and win. Will they pull it off? I don’t think in the end that they will, but I will not be surprised at all if they do. The Dallas offensive line is one of the best in the league and this will be a big challenge of strength vs strength in that particular battle of their line vs the Seahawks defensive front.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 23
Arizona Cardinals (3-1) vs Washington Redskins (1-4) +3.5
The Cardinals were close to the Broncos last week until QB Drew Stanton got knocked out of the game with a concussion and their rookie QB Logan Thomas was forced into action. Stanton as of now has still not cleared the league’s concussion protocol tests, so he is currently doubtful. However, as I said earlier, Carson Palmer maybe making his return this week. He went to see a specialist and he thinks he has made a breakthrough. He threw on Tuesday and unlike last week, it didn’t have a bad reaction today. Cardinal’s Coach Bruce Arians has said Palmer needs to have at least 1 full day of practice before playing in a game.
I mentioned the Redskins earlier. They played better than most thought they would have, but still went down in a 10 point loss. This game will most likely be very high scoring. Neither team stops the pass well and if Palmer is healthy enough to start, 30 may not be enough to leave with a win. The two Cardinal WRs, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, desperately need Palmer back in the lineup because Stanton seems to be happy with check downs and shorter routes. Palmer is the key to this game. If he plays, I think Cardinals can outgun the Redskins, but if he is still out and Stanton, or even worse, Logan Thomas, is forced to start, Skins take it.
Prediction: Cardinals 34, Redskins 31
St Louis Rams (1-3) vs San Francisco 49ers (3-2) -3.5
Austin Davis continues to prove me right when I said he was a better player than people thought he was. After going down 34-7 with less than a minute to go in the 3rd quarter, Davis helped lead a comeback, even without his starting RB Zac Stacy, who left in the 3rd with a calf injury. Rams got the score down to 34-28 with 4:41 left in the 4th, but that was as close as they got, as they got to the Eagle’s 48 yard line and were eventually stopped on downs. Austin finished the game 29-49 for 375 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs. He was already named the starter for the rest of the season and he seemed to thriving with that announcement.
The 49ers faced their former starting QB Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a close game the entire way, with no one ever leading by more than 7 points. The lead changed hands three times and the Chiefs did have a chance with just over 2 mins to go, but Alex Smith, who is rarely picked off, was intercepted by Perrish Cox at the 2 min mark and that ended their chances. Frank Gore had his 2nd straight 100 yard game, finishing with 107 yards on 18 carries. Starting QB Colin Kaepernick finished 14-26 for 201 yards and TD. He seemed to play very similar to the way Alex Smith played when he was the 49ers starter.
This game is like a lot of games this week. The team that is considered the underdog is the home team. The Rams defense has been the best in the league against the pass, only allowing 192 yards per game, so the 49ers will have to quit the pass happy offense and go back to their old school, pound the ball, type of football. An incentive to rushing more is that the Rams are giving up 152.5 yards per game on the ground. On the other side of the ball, the Rams have the 6th best passing offense while the 49ers have the 7th best pass defense. If 49ers pound the ball they win, if not, they leave it open for St Louis to create a Monday Night shocker.
Prediction: 49ers 24, Rams 20
Game Milestone Alert: With 2 more receiving TDs, Larry Fitzgerald will have 89 for his career and that would put him 12th all time in receiving TDs. Only 8 players have 100 or more TDs, with Antonio Gates being 8 TDs from being the 9th.
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