Following the slate of games in week seven, it was established that the NFC west is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. One week later and that statement still seems to hold weight. Every team in the division won it's matchup aside from the Arizona Cardinals, with the 49ers remaining as the dominant force.
We are now officially past the midway point of the 2019 NFL regular season. The Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams should start to feel pressed for time if they want any chance to win the NFC west. As it stands, it is the San Franciso 49ers to lose. The schedule of the 49ers will start to increase in difficulty.
Only two games up in the loss column over the Seahawks, who are in second place, the 49ers still cannot afford a slip up. Meanwhile, it seems as if the Rams have their head on straight following three consecutive losses a couple of weeks ago. Let's check in with the entire division of the NFC west to see how things are looking leading up to week nine.
Seattle Seahawks (6-2)
As expected, the Seahawks took care of business in Atlanta to defeat the lowly Falcons. Seattle took a massive 24 point lead going into halftime. However, they almost blew their lead when the Falcons mustered a valiant comeback. Seattle did manage to hold on 27-20, but that complacency is an indicator of their mindset. It’s such a high contrast of how the 49ers are operating on.
The Seahawks and 49ers will finally matchup following week nine on Monday night football. It’ll be a pivotal game for control of the NFC west. Until that looming matchup, the Seahawks will play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are coming off a loss to the Tennessee Titans. If Seattle can manage a win against them, then the stakes on Monday night become greater against the 49ers. Russell Wilson will easily be the 49ers most talented quarterback they will have faced.
On top of that, they are running the ball exceptionally well with Chris Carson. The Seahawks are no slouches and their record is a great indicator of it. The 49ers have gotten off to an incredible start, yet they only hold a two loss lead over the Seahawks. Every week always feels like a “must have” game for the 49ers with the Seahawks on their trail.
Los Angeles Rams (5-3)
Much like with the Seahawks, the Rams handlered their business against the measly Cincinnati Bengals in London, England. The Rams didn’t have their way with them, at least not in the first half, but Cooper Kupp surely did. Fantasy football owners who have Kupp must’ve been ecstatic to seen his stat line. The Rams are now on a two game winning streak since losing to the 49ers.
They’re finally starting to pick the broken pieces back up from their three game losing streak. Los Angeles is now back in the playoff race, as well as the race for the NFC west. You just had to figure that the Rams would get things back on track. Not because of the acquisition for Jalen Ramsey, although it does help, but because of head coach Sean McVay.
There was no way that McVay was going to allow this team to continue on it's slippery slope. It does help that they have faced some poor opponents, yet the way they were going it seemed like they would lose one of those games. The Rams will be on their bye during week nine to get some much needed rest. They'll have a challenging task ahead when they return week 11 to kick off a serious run at a playoff berth.
Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)
The Cardinals were riding a three game winning streak into week eight against the New Orleans Saints. It was a long-shot for the Cardinals to beat the Saints with Teddy Bridgewater. It became an almost impossible shot to win once Drew Brees was announced to return. Though they loss 9-30, this game should not be heavily weighed against them.
The Saints are one of the best teams in the league and playing in New Orleans is insanely tough. However, this game should be weighed against them if you're the 49ers. Thursday Night Football's matchup will be a divisional one in the NFC west between the Cardinals and 49ers. This is a game that the Niners must not overlook. Arizona is a decently solid team that won't roll over.
Considering that it is a short-week and on the road, this is the best opportunity for the 49ers to finally drop a game. Short'week games like this are known for being a speed bump for elite teams. The turnaround to prepare for already another game is strenuous. The Cardinals could give the 49ers a run for their money for a while, until the 49ers start to runaway with it. Regardless, the Cardinals should not underestimated or the 49ers will give the Seahawks and Rams life in the race for the NFC west.