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NFC West Week 8: Around the horn

Somehow, it is already Week 8 in the National Football League season. The NFC West is one of the more competitive divisions, with three of the four teams in the playoff race. The only outlier would be the San Francisco 49ers, who at 2-5 seem ready for some tee times.

All lines can be seen on our NFL page.

Arizona Cardinals (-5.5) at Cleveland Browns

Arizona is leading the NFC West by a game and a half over St. Louis, and has a chance to pick up another win on Sunday over the Cleveland Browns. The Cardinals are one of the most explosive offenses in the National Football League, led by the receiving trio of Michael Floyd, John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald. The backfield is also loaded up with playmakers including Andre Ellington, David Johnson and Chris Johnson.

Chris Johnson ranks second in the league in rushing yardage with 567 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Johnson was signed in the preseason but did not see any action until the regular season, and has proved to be invaluable. Of course, the engine of the offense remains quarterback Carson Palmer, who has already thrown for 2,012 yards and 16 touchdowns against five interceptions.

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (-9)

This should be a good week for the Rams. Few teams give quarterbacks more trouble than St. Louis, with a front seven featuring Alec Olgetree, Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Nick Fairley and Aaron Donald. Considering the 49ers have the inconsistent and turnover-prone Colin Kaepernick sitting in the pocket, tthis could be a very bad matchup for the boys by the Bay.

The only question is whether the Rams can muster up enough offense. St. Louis does not have any great weapons on the outside. Through seven weeks, the Rams’ leading receiver is Kenny Britt with a measly 224 yards. On the plus side, rookie running back Todd Gurley looks like an absolute stud. Gurley has rushed for 442 yards on six yards per carry, appearing to already be a top player at his position.

Seattle Seahawks (-6) at Dallas Cowboys

Seattle has to be thrilled with the state of the Cowboys at this point. Instead of having to face Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, it likely sees Matt Cassel and a bunch of receivers who don’t scare you. The Seahawks also walk into AT&T Stadium with Greg Hardy dominating the headlines thanks to more ridiculous behavior by a guy who doesn’t deserve to make a living in the NFL.

The Seahawks are 3-4 and desperately need to get rolling. Seattle has a chance to grab a road win against a team that is not only reeling in the locker room, but has lost four straight. Head coach Pete Carroll needs to make sure his team is prepared to go on the road and even their record.

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