Sports

The NFC West Still Appears To Be A Wide Open Race

Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the NFC West Arizona Cardinals scrambles with the football against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of the NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium on August 20, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Chiefs defeated the Cardinals 17-10.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

It’s like playing an NFL postseason game every week.

That statement best describes the NFC West during the 2021 season.

The division, arguably the best in football, is highly competitive in that all four teams have a shot at making the playoffs.

Each team has at least one Super Bowl appearance, and three of those came in the last seven editions.

The Seattle Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX courtesy of a Malcolm Butler interception in the end zone.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams also fell victim to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.

The San Francisco 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, who engineered a fourth-quarter comeback in Super Bowl LIV.

In the past, all three franchises hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy, with the Rams doing it in Super Bowl XXXIV when they still called St. Louis, Missouri home.

In contrast, the Arizona Cardinals have yet to win the big game after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their only appearance to date.

However, the Cardinals are the hottest team in football after winning their first four assignments.

They did easy work against the Rams in what fans expected as a tight contest.

Kyler Murray threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns in that win, while Arizona gained 216 rushing yards.

Before that game, the Cardinals defeated the Tennessee Titans, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, in that order.

On the other hand, the Rams suffered their first loss in the 2021 season at the hands of their division rival.

But they had been dominant before that defeat, especially in their 34-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Rams defense sacked Tom Brady thrice while Matthew Stafford burned the Buccaneers secondary by throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson.

 

Who Will Win The NFC West?

It’s hard to disregard the 49ers and the Seahawks even if the Rams and the Cardinals are the obvious frontrunners.

The two teams are not far behind with identical 2-2 records, and they have exemplary players who can dominate any game.

The Niners lost to the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 via a Mason Crosby field goal that Aaron Rodgers set up in 37 seconds.

San Francisco also held onto a 41-33 victory over the Detroit Lions, wherein Deebo Samuel had nine receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown.

The wide receiver from South Carolina followed up that performance with 93 yards in their 17-11 win against the Philadelphia Eagles.

However, their other defeat came against the Seahawks, wherein Russell Wilson had a 16-yard rushing touchdown, which made a difference in the final score.

Trey Lance also saw extended minutes after a Jimmy Garoppolo injury.

As for Seattle, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are leading the way on offense.

They both had a touchdown in their opening weekend win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Lockett dominated with 178 yards and a touchdown in their loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Likewise, Metcalf gained 107 yards and a score in a defeat against the Minnesota Vikings.

The battle for the NFC West remains tight after four weeks, and every game count for these teams.

It won’t be surprising if the division title will depend on a Week 17 game.

In that final week of the regular season, the Rams will face the 49ers while the Seahawks compete with the Cardinals.

Playoff hopes may live or die in that pair of games.



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