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NFC Power Shifts to Pacific Northwest

The NFC West, the NFL’s toughest division top to bottom, was shaken and stirred in week 2 of the NFL. The top two teams, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers battled in Seattle, with the Seahawks coming away with a decisive 29-3 win and a one game lead in the division over the 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals evened their record at 1-1 after defeating the Detroit Lions at home 25-21. The St. Louis Rams saw their record fall to 0-2 after losing to the Atlanta Falcons.

Seattle made a huge early season statement with their win on Sunday at home. The defense for Seattle completely shut down the 49ers offense, which is one of the NFL’s best. The 49ers did not score a touchdown and gained just 207 yards of total offense the entire game.

In week 1, Colin Kaepernick San Francisco’s quarterback set a career high for passing yards with 412 against Green Bay, but could muster just 127 yards against the Seattle secondary led by cornerback Richard Sherman.

Seattle’s offensive line lost its Pro Bowl player Russell Okung to injury during the first half but showed how a collective effort can still lead to success as they opened gaping holes for running back Marshawn Lynch who had 98 yards rushing for the night and two rushing touchdowns.

Russell Wilson did not have the game at quarterback he or his coaches are accustomed to. He started 0-6 in passing during the first quarter. He admitted he did not throw as well as he can, but he seems to always get things accomplished somehow.

For the Seahawks to stay atop the division, they cannot let themselves have a letdown after such an emotional win. They face one of the league’s worst teams this week in Jacksonville and the Jaguars could easily be looked past to their next opponent the Houston Texans.

The Arizona Cardinals the other winner in week 2 in the NFC West overcame poor third down conversions to defeat the Lions. In the game, Arizona could only convert on 1 of their 11 third down conversion.

Arizona has a cast of young players showing they belong in the NFL. Rookies like Jaron Brown and Stephan Taylor as well as Kerry Taylor, who is not a rookie but has spent the majority of his three NFL seasons on various practice squads.

The one big negative from the victory by Arizona was an injury to veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He did not want to leave the game after his injury but realized he could not play up to par and was hurting the team’s efforts to win. His hamstring injury will be an issue when Arizona meets New Orleans this weekend.

The power in the NFC West shifted on Sunday and it was such a shift it may have shifted the power in the entire NFL. Seattle now has to be looked at as the big gun in the NFC and one or two in the NFL.

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