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NFC West: QB Questions in Seattle,49ers Return Home, Cardinals Go Down

For the NFC West, the new week already kicked off on Thursday when the Arizona Cardinals went down against the St. Louis Rams, 17-3. It was an ugly game for quarterback Kevin Kolb and you have to wonder if we’ll see him starting next week.

Up in Seattle, questions have also been raised regarding the Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. He has been struggling but coach Pete Carroll plans to stick with him. For now.

And for the San Francisco 49ers, they’ll return home and host the Buffalo Bills. Quarterback Alex Smith plays well at home. Will he do so on Sunday?

St. Louis Rams (3-2) defeat Arizona Cardinals (4-1) 17-3

Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb

It was a great ride for the Cardinals, going 4-0 amid the team’s months of quarterback questions before ultimately putting Kolb in charge before he oversaw its fall.

On Thursday, Kolb was sacked nine times, losing his helmet twice including one that left him with a pop in the jaw.

The Rams defense played outstanding and stopped the Cardinals twice for scoring within the 20-yard line; it held the team to 45 yards of rushing.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn’t happy about his team’s performance and said, “I didn’t like anything. The thing I respected is our guys didn’t quit, and even as bad as it went, we had a chance at the end of the game.”

As for the Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, it wasn’t exactly a stellar day. He went 7 for 21, 141 yards, two touchdowns and one pick.

After Thursday’s game, did the Cardinals really show who they are? Next Sunday they’ll play the Buffalo Bills.

Seattle Seahawks (2-2) vs the Carolina Panthers (1-3)

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

In this game, it’s going to be a battle of the quarterbacks: a green one vs. the sophomore head case.

Questions have been rising on whether coach Carroll should stick with his talented rookie quarterback Wilson after last week’s game that included a season-high three picks for the player.

Backup quarterback Matt Flynn is recovering from an elbow injury but Carroll thinks Wilson provides the best chance to win.

He will need to improve his third down passer rating: 45.4 and red zone production: 8 of 19 with a touchdown.

Meanwhile Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has faced his own problems, including being called out by a teammate for being a sore loser and too emotional. He is cognizant of this but it’s up to him to change it.

Pouting on the sidelines isn’t helping matters.

In last week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, the Panthers needed two yards for a crucial first down but Newton fumbled on a third-down run; it was recovered by his teammate Mike Tolbert. Instead of going for it, Panthers Coach Ron Rivera instead punted it  with 1:09 remaining. The decision bit the Panthers and probably affected Newton’s already fragile psyche.

Can both quarterbacks improve this week? The bettors are putting their faith in Carolina at -2.5 with a 42.5 over/under.

San Francisco 49ers (3-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (2-2)

49ers QB Alex Smith

Last week, the 49ers crushed the New York Jets 34-0 and will return home with a lot of confidence while Buffalo travels to the left coast with the memory of last week’s 52-28 crushing loss against the New England Patriots.

49ers quarterback Alex Smith plays well at home. In the 2011 season, his total QBR score (76.1 out of 100) was 42.3 points greater than when he hits the road (29.3), according to ESPN. This is the greatest differential in the league.

This week, running back Brandon Jacobs may make his regular season debut but if he doesn’t make it, Smith still has Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter.

For Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, he’ll have to forget about last week’s six turnovers and the 580 yards that the team gave up.

He has great weapons with Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller and Tashard Choice but least week they weren’t productive.

The 49ers were once seen as the team to beat this season. The bettors still think they pose a challenge and give them -9.5 with a 45 over/under.

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