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NFC West Weekend Round-Up

St. Louis Rams Defeat Buffalo Bills 15-12

The Rams are 6-6-1 and somehow remain the playoff hunt. Their win over the Bills wasn’t a pretty one, but it was necessary if they want to stay in the postseason conversation. The Bills, meanwhile, continued their inconsistent ways.

“You have to be a finisher in this league,” Bills safety George Wilson said. “Those are the plays you replay over and over in your head, wishing that the ball would’ve bounced your way.”

“We’ve got to develop a killer instinct,” Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “And we’ve got to win these games if we want to be one of the teams that’s sitting there at the end of the year ready for the playoffs.”

The Rams are a pretty average team, but they’re headed in the right direction under head coach Jeff Fisher. They’ve shown in their two bloodbaths with their division rivals, the 49ers, that they can hang with some of the best teams in the league. With a bevy of young talent on both sides of the ball, they should be a force in the NFC West for years to come. Just maybe not this year.

San Francisco 49ers Defeat Miami Dolphins 27-13

The 49ers did what they had to do on Sunday and earned a big win on the road against a frisky Miami team. Frank Gore rushed for 63 yards, pushing him over the 1,000 yard mark for the sixth time in his career.

“It’s a blessing. Everybody says when you turn 29 and 30, you can’t do it anymore. When I got to 29, I told myself, ‘I’m going to overcome that,’ ” Gore said. “I’ve still got the explosiveness. When I see something, I go get it.”

The 49ers star pass rusher Aldon Smith also picked up two more sacks, putting him at 19.5 sacks on the year. It seems likely that he will pass Michael Strahan’s single season record of 22 sacks set in 2001. Colin Kaepernick had another solid game behind center, throwing for 185 yards on 18 of 23 pass attempts, but the biggest play of the game came in the fourth quarter when Kaepernick scored on a 50 yard option run. Per ESPN’s stats and information, it was his fourth zone option read rushing touchdown of the year out of 13 attempts. He had a 64.1 Total QBR in Sunday’s win over the Dolphins including a perfect 100.0 in the 4th quarter. Kaepernick has a 99.2 4th-quarter QBR since his 1st start in Week 11, best in the NFL over that span.

The 49ers have a terrible schedule down the stretch for their last three games. They get the New England Patriots next week and the Seattle Seahawks the week after that. However, they’re playing well, and should be able to lock up a top seed.

Seattle Seahawks Defeat Arizona Cardinals 58-0

The Seahawks forced eight turnovers and beat the Cardinals by the fourth largest margin in NFL history.

“It was great to be able to come out of the game because we blew them out so bad,” Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. “The game was a crazy game throughout.”

Marshawn Lynch dominated on the ground, and defensive backs Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner had two interceptions each.

“I’ve never been involved in anything where the ball falls your way every single time. It seemed like if the ball was going to come out it was going to fall our way,” Sherman said. “Even on the fumble where I fell on it and got the recovery, it just kept bouncing around. I was like, ‘There is no way this ball is going to bounce right to me’ and it did.’ ”

The Seahawks are 8-5 and have a real chance to win out. Betting on them to make the playoffs, and maybe even claim a top seed, is a safe bet indeed.

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