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49ers Top Saints, Rams Beat Cards, Seahawks Drop Close One

49ers Defeat Saints 31-21

The 49ers were 1.5 point favorites at the Saints on Sunday, and they showed why by returning two interceptions for touchdowns in a 31-21 victory. Colin Kaepernick was solid, completing 16 of 25 passes for 231 yards, a touchdown and an interception. His throws averaged a fantastic 9.2 yards per attempt, and he also rushed for 27 yards and a touchdown. In short, he gave the 49ers everything he hoped he would: dynamic athleticism and big plays. I agreed with their decision to bench Smith in principle, though the timing was curious. The 49ers’ ceiling is so much higher with Kaepernick than it is with Smith. They are a very good team with Smith, but they have a chance to be great with Kaepernick. I think that’s ultimately a gamble they needed to take, and for this week at least, it paid off.

Rams Defeat Cardinals 31-17

The Rams upset the Cardinals 31-17 with the help of two Janoris Jenkins interception return touchdowns. The Cardinals were somewhat inexplicably favored by 1.5 points in this game, despite starting Ryan Lindley at quarterback.  “What a great game by Janoris,” Rams defensive end Chris Long said after the game. “I’m really proud of him. I’m happy for him. When you get one turnover for a score, your chances of winning go up exponentially, so if you get two, I don’t know what the statistic is, but when you do it two times with the same player, it’s pretty awesome.”

The Cardinals, meanwhile, continue to collapse, with Ken Whisenhunt certainly on the coaching hot seat. After the game, he felt the need to defend his seemingly inexplicable move to Lindley over Skelton at quarterback.

“I think you just have to understand he’s a young player and he’s got to understand he can’t make a couple of those throws, especially the last one that was returned for a touchdown,” Whisenhunt said. “That was a bad throw because he had Larry (Fitzgerald) down the sidelines. He’s just got to step up and put it up.”

Seahawks Lose 24-21 to Miami Dolphins

The Seahawks were favored by three points in this game despite losing five of their last six road games, and they showed why they continue to be a foolish bet outside of Seattle. Russell Wilson actually had a sensational game, completing 21 of 27 passes for 224 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers. His QB rating was a stellar 125.9. However, his team just did not do enough on offense to ultimately take the game.

You know it’s bad when your head coach says that he screwed up the bye week heading into a game. Here’s Pete Carroll after the game: “I’m disappointed in all phases of the game,” he said. “We didn’t do the things we needed to do in the week off to get prepared. I screwed it up.” Never a good thing to hear the HC talking like that, and it showed; Seattle is simply a different, worse team on the road then they are at home. The vaunted defense allowed Ryan Tannehill to drive 65 yards in six plays to set up the game winning field goal for the Dolphins, and that was all she wrote. If the 6-5 Seahawks really want to make a push for a wild card spot, they’re going to have to win a couple close games like this. If not, they’re staring at a .500 record.

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