In the wake of the Seahawks' second-half meltdown against the Titans on Sunday, it's hard not to wonder what could have been. Had Seattle held on to its 15-point lead, the NFC West would have finished with a clean sweep in Week 2, with all four teams getting out to a 2-0 start on the year.
Instead, Pete Carroll's crew allowed 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and overtime and now possess the division's lone loss of the young season. Here's how the Cardinals, Rams and 49ers avoided a similar fate this weekend.
Arizona Cardinals: Defeated Vikings 34-33
If you thought the Seahawks' loss was heartbreaking, just wait until you hear how the Vikings fell in the Arizona desert. After forcing a punt, Minnesota got the ball with a little over two minutes left on the game clock. Quarterback Kirk Cousins orchestrated a beautiful drive downfield all the way to the Cardinals' 19-yard line, setting up kicker Greg Joseph for a 37-yard game-winning field goal attempt. But Joseph's kick narrowly missed wide right, sending the Vikings back to Minneapolis with an 0-2 record while the Cardinals celebrated an emotional victory in their home opener. Despite throwing a pair of interceptions, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray was spectacular for the second week in a row. Finishing the day with 400 passing yards and three touchdowns, along with another 31 yards and a score with his legs, he appears to have taken a massive step forward in 2021.
Los Angeles Rams: Defeated Colts 27-24
To the frustration of Seahawks fans, the Colts had a legitimate shot to win this game. But a pair of mind-boggling red zone trips that resulted in zero points for Indianapolis wound up being the difference in this one, along with the red-hot connection between Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Cooper Kupp. The Colts still managed to possess the ball with a chance to tie or take a lead late, but quarterback Carson Wentz was unable to head back onto the field after suffering double ankle injuries. This put backup Jacob Eason under center, who threw an interception to cornerback Jalen Ramsey on his second play from scrimmage. Though Indy would get the ball one more time—with just 24 seconds left—Eason and company failed to make a miracle happen and Los Angeles walked out of Lucas Oil Stadium with a 2-0 record.
San Francisco 49ers: Defeated Eagles 17-11
Though they were unable to muster much offense on the day, the 49ers succeeded in sneaking out of Lincoln Financial Field with a 17-11 win on Sunday. The Eagles continue to be surprisingly competitive here in the early stages of the 2021 season, particularly on defense, but quarterback Jalen Hurts was unable to get anything going against San Francisco's defense for most of the afternoon. Finally finding the end zone late in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia's efforts proved too little, too late as Kyle Shanahan's offense bled the remaining four minutes and two seconds left on the game clock dry, thanks to a big 3rd and 1 conversion on Jimmy Garoppolo's legs.