Will this year be the year of the shootout in the NFC West?
What a week it was for the NFC West. We saw high-flying offenses across the board and good defensive play if you ignore the 49ers‘ final seven minutes of the fourth quarter. Based on what we saw during Week 1 from each NFC West team, you can expect plenty of points.
Every team is 1-0. This will be a division where you can’t afford to lose the games you’re not supposed to. Here are the results from each game in the NFC West. We’ll keep track of the results after each week.
Cardinals 38, Titans 13 – Arizona 1-0
This game will probably be the game that gets overreacted to the most. Tennesee wasn’t very good. At one point, Derrick Henry had eight carries for nine yards. He finished with 17 rushes for 58 yards, and 19 of those came on one carry. The Titans didn’t have much of a plan to get their star wideouts involved and looked stagnant on offense.
You have to give Arizona’s defense credit — especially Chandler Jones and his five sacks. He dominated Taylor Lewan. J.J. Watt had a tackle for loss, and the speedy second-level players between Budda Baker, Isaiah Simmons, and Zaven Collins looked fast.
Offensively, the Cardinals screen game looks better when they’re throwing to Rondale Moore and not 44-year-old Larry Fitzgerald. Kyler Murray played lights out outside of one boneheaded interception. He’ll be a challenge for the 49ers to contain. DeAndre Hopkins looked like himself. The Cardinals have the speed to make you pay.
I want to see the Cardinals do this against a quality opponent before I rush to crown them.
Seahawks 28, Colts 16 – Seattle 1-0
The star of this game for Seattle was the new offensive coordinator and mini Sean McVay, Shane Waldron. He made life easy on Russell Wilson, and it showed. Of course, there were still the moon balls we’re used to seeing, but Wilson got the ball out of his hands quicker than usual, and Seattle stayed ahead of schedule on offense.
Seattle gave up a 14-play, 72-yard drive that lasted over nine minutes to start the game. Indianapolis scored two drives later but didn’t again until the second to last drive of the game.
Seattle fumbled the ball and gave the Colts a short field midway through the third quarter, but Carson Wentz went full Carson Wentz and fumbled on the following drive. On the next drive, Wentz was sacked on 4th & 2.
The Seahawks look like a team that will need to win shootouts the way their defense played. The Colts should have scored 30+ pretty easily.
Rams 34, Bears 14 – Los Angeles 1-0
It’s safe to say the Rams are good. The Bears have a strong unit defensively, and they didn’t have a prayer of slowing down Matt Stafford and company. Guys were running open all over the place, and we saw what it could look like now that McVay can stretch the field. They’re going to be a problem on offense.
We already know about the defense. Jalen Ramsey had a couple of tackles for loss and a pass breakup, while Aaron Donald was disruptive. Unfortunately, Andy Dalton isn’t a guy that strikes fear into the hearts of opposing defenses, so I’d like to see what happens when the Rams face a competent quarterback.
Were there any surprises in the division for you?