NFC West Week 14 Check In: Seahawks Kick 49ers Off Top Spot
Jose Luis Sanchez III
For the first time since week 6, when the 49ers beat the Rams, there is a shakeup in the NFC west. Heading into week 14, the Seahawks hold the No. 1 spot in the division after defeating the Vikings on Monday night football. A spot that had been held by the 49ers since week 4.
The 49ers are in unfamiliar waters as they had been sitting comfortably atop the NFC. Their loss to the Ravens on Sunday not only knocked them off of the top spot in the playoff standings, but the top spot in the NFC west. All the momentum is riding with the Seahawks now who will look to keep their foot on the gas pedal.
Meanwhile, the Rams bounced back from a devastating loss to the Ravens to get back on track for a Wild Card playoff berth. This past week of football was very eventful in the division that will only make week 14 that much more enticing to watch.
San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
Putting a stop to Lamar Jackson and the surging Ravens was going to be the toughest challenge for the 49ers this season. It proved just that as the 49ers suffered only their second loss of the season. The 49ers played well enough to win the game, however, clock mismanagement and a failed fourth down conversion cost them the game. Both of their losses have come down to the final seconds of a field goal.
It just goes to show how hard this team fights. Unfortunately, the 49ers now see their first-round bye in the playoffs fading away after the Seahawks win over the Vikings. 2019 has been a phenomenal year for the 49er, yet because they play in such a stacked division they may have to settle for a wild card spot. There are still four games left with a week 17 matchup against the Seahawks.
That game may determine who ends up as the NFC west division champion. Before the 49ers can worry about that, they have to handle their business with the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. That’ll be the final game of the toughest three-game stretch this late in the season in NFL history.
Seattle Seahawks (10-2)
As stellar of a season the 49ers have had, the Seahawks have been right on their tail. The persistence of Seattle has lead them to hold the top spot in the NFC west for the first time this season. Tip of the cap to MVP front runner Russell Wilson. He has lead this team to such a feat with little talent. If they continue to reel off wins, then they very well will win the division.
However, they must not get carried away as they have a primetime matchup with the Rams on Sunday night. What seemed like an easy win, now looks like a decent matchup for the Seahawks. The Rams have shown that they can put up points against average defenses, which is what Seattle is. They'll have their work cut out for them when they fly down to Los Angeles. The remaining four games for Seattle isn’t as tough as the 49ers, but a slip up in any game could cost them the division title.
Los Angeles Rams (7-5)
After getting embarrassed in primetime by the Ravens, the Rams took out their frustrations on the Cardinals by giving them a beatdown of their own. The Rams dropped 34 unanswered points against the Cardinals in a game that saw their offense finally step up. This win keeps playoff hopes alive for the Rams who desperately need to keep winning if they want any shot of clinching a berth.
The sixth seed is their only way of making the playoffs, which is currently held by the Vikings. Despite losing to the Seahawks, the Vikings are still in a great position and show no signs of unraveling. It won’t be easy by any measure for the Rams, especially since they will host the Seahawks on Sunday night football this week. The 49ers will be huge supporters of the Rams this week to beat the Seahawks.
Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1)
Coming off of their bye in week 12, the Cardinals were in a prime position to derail the Rams’ playoff hopes. It seemed like a likely scenario that they would beat the Rams following the beatdown the Ravens gave them on Monday night football. However, the Cardinals must’ve thought that their bye lasted for two weeks because they did not show up in week 13.
The Rams came into the Cardinals’ house and knocked them out. I’m talking first round knockout if this was a boxing match. 34-7 was the final score for the game as the Cardinals were barely able to score some last minute points. If it wasn’t for a Kyler Murray run, the Cardinals likely get shutout. Arizona will look to make amends for their no-show against the Rams when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.