NFC West Week 4 Preview
NFC West Week 4 Schedule
- Sunday, October 4th @ 10AM (Fox): Seahawks @ Dolphins
- Sunday, October 4th @ 10AM (Fox): Cardinals @ Panthers
- Sunday, October 4th @ 1:05PM (Fox): Giants @ Rams
- Sunday, October 4th @ 5:20PM (NBC): Eagles @ 49ers
Current NFC West Standings
- Seahawks: 3-0
- 49ers, Cardinals, Rams: 2-1
General Week 3 recap and Week 4 overlook:
Week 3 wasn’t the best for the NFC West as a whole. For the first time all season, an NFC West team lost a non-divisional matchup. Both the Rams and Cardinals lost to their respective opponents, which were the Bills and Lions.
Looking at Week 3 through the lens of a 49ers fan, it was a solid week. The team beat the Giants, and finally climbed their way out of the division’s basement. The weekend had potential to be spectacular, but unfortunately the Cowboys could not hold on to a late lead against the Seahawks, who are the only undefeated team remaining in the division.
Looking ahead to Week 4, each team within the NFC West has a favorable matchup. All teams are favored by Las Vegas to win their games, just like in Week 2.
NFC West Week 4 Point Spread:
- Seahawks -6.5 @ Dolphins
- Cardinals -3.5 @ Panthers
- Giants @ Rams -12.0
- Eagles @ 49ers -7.0
Barring any upsets, each team should advance to at least two games over .500. Let’s take a deeper dive into each matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
2020 Team Stats (Eagles on left side - 49ers on right side):
- Points Scored Per Game: 19.7 - 29.0
- Passing Yards Per Game: 245.7 - 268.0
- Rushing Yards Per Game: 117.7 - 132.7
- Points Allowed Per Game: 29.0 - 15.3
- Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 252.3 - 196.0
- Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 106.3 - 116.7
Storyline: Can the beaten down 49ers stay hot against the beaten down Eagles?
The keyword of the story line is beaten down, and for good reason. As of Wednesday, 20 players between both teams were either limited in practice or didn’t didn’t practice at all. Seven of those players belong to the 49ers, while the remaining 13 belong to the Eagles. Those numbers are not even counting the players each team has on Injured Reserve.
The 49ers have been able to overcome their injuries, but the Eagles are having the exact opposite experience. The reigning NFC East champions are staring an 0-3-1 start directly in the face.
It is still unknown whether it will be Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) or Nick Mullens starting Sunday night, but here's the good news for whichever quarterback it is: George Kittle and potentially even Deebo Samuel will be in uniform.
The Eagles are giving up 29 points per game, which is the same number the 49ers are averaging on offense. Flipping things around, the Eagles are scoring just under 20 points per game, and the 49ers are surrendering just over 15 - the second-best mark in the NFL.
All things considered, the 49ers have the edge in this primetime matchup, and should win in convincing fashion.
The only question is will it be Garoppolo or Mullens at the helm?
Seattle Seahawks (3-0) @ Miami Dolphins (1-2)
2020 Team Stats (Seahawks on left side - Dolphins on right side)
- Points Scored Per Game: 37.0 - 23.3
- Passing Yards Per Game: 308.3 - 226.3
- Rushing Yards Per Game: 118.3 - 108.0
- Points Allowed Per Game: 28.7 - 21.7
- Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 439.7 - 281.7
- Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 66.7 - 133.7
Storyline: How many touchdowns will Russell Wilson tack onto his season total?
Russell Wilson has been, and more than likely will continue to be the talk of the NFL. Through three games, he has thrown 14 touchdown passes! Fourteen! To put that in perspective, Garoppolo threw 27 touchdowns all of last season, which was good enough to place top five in the league.
Wilson is off to a video-game type of start, and the Dolphins have little to no chance of slowing him down. I expect the Seahawks to attack early and often and get up by double digits by the end of the first half.
If this game isn’t lopsided by halftime, it’ll be because the Seahawks’ defense can’t stop a nosebleed. The fact that Jamal Adams is questionable doesn’t help either.
Ryan “Fitzmagic” Fitzpatrick certainly has the ability to pick apart the lackluster Seahawks’ secondary, but I don’t think he has enough in him to pull off the upset.
I can see the Dolphins putting up their fair share of points, but in the end I like Seahawks by a landslide.
Arizona Cardinals (2-1) @ Carolina Panthers (1-2)
2020 Team Stats (Cardinals on left side - Panthers on right side)
- Points Scored Per Game: 25.7 - 22.7
- Passing Yards Per Game: 262.0 - 290.3
- Rushing Yards Per Game: 149.7 - 99.0
- Points Allowed Per Game: 20.3 - 27.0
- Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 250.7 - 262.0
- Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 110.0 - 124.0
Storyline: Can the Cardinals quickly recover from their first loss of the year?
The Kyler Murray for MVP train came to a screeching halt after a three-interception performance against the Lions. Those turnovers arguably cost the Cardinals the game. How will Murray, Kliff Kingsbury and the rest of the team bounce back?
Luckily for the Cardinals, they’re playing a Panthers team that's missing their best player, running back Christian McCaffrey. But that was not an issue for them last week against the Chargers. To my surprise, the Panthers were able to upset the Chargers and walk away with their first win of the year.
Out of the four NFC West matchups, this game has the tightest point spread. With that being said, I am in agreement with Las Vegas that the outcome of this game should be a lot closer than the other three.
With the playoffs expanding to seven teams, I’m sure the Panthers still feel like they have a chance to earn a wildcard spot. They won’t roll over easily.
I like the Panthers in this one, as I like their ability to neutralize Murray with their linebacker Shaq Thompson.
New York Giants (0-3) @ Los Angeles Rams (2-1)
2020 Team Stats (Giants on left side - Rams on right side)
- Points Scored Per Game: 12.7 - 29.7
- Passing Yards Per Game: 233.0 - 287.7
- Rushing Yards Per Game: 56.7 - 170.3
- Points Allowed Per Game: 26.3 - 23.7
- Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 254.0 - 273.0
- Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 123.0 - 119.3
Storyline: How "well" will the Rams get from this one?
Very similarly to how the 49ers had their get-well game against the Jets after their loss to Cardinals, the Rams are approaching their get-well game after a devastating loss to the Bills.
I expect the Rams to come out angry in this one, considering the whirlwind of emotions they experienced last week. They faced the embarrassment of going down 28-3, only to come back and take a 32-28 lead and blow it. There was also a very questionable pass interference call at the end of the game, which is another reason why I think the Rams will come out hot. They’re still mad.
This is bad news for the Giants, who are off to a miserable start to their season. They lost their star in Saquon Barkley for the year, and the schedule makers have done them no favors. Through four weeks, their opponents have a combined record 10-2. They just can’t catch a break. Luckily they have a Week 5 bye, which could help clear their heads and get back close to full strength.
As double digit favorites, the Rams should be able to make this one ugly, fast. I see them doing so.
All 49ers Sports Illustrated Predictions:
SEA @ MIA
ARZ @ CAR
NYG @ LAR
PHI @ SF
Follow me on Twitter: @NinerNick_22