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NFC West Round-Up; Rams at Niners Highlights the Week


The Niners and Rams will lock 'em up Sunday in San Francisco

The National Football League is now past the mid-way point of the season believe it or not and one thing we know for sure about the NFC West is that it is clearly the San Francisco 49ers to win or to lose. Their opponent this week, the St. Louis Rams, are struggling and so are the Arizona Cardinals who started so strong this season at 4-0. The Seahawks remain the one team in my opinion that can still make it tough for the Niners but they already have a loss head-to-head. They do however, still have San Fran coming to the Pacific Northwest yet this season. Seattle must play better, especially on the road if they want to truly put pressure on the Niners.

The Standings: San Francisco 6-2, Seattle 5-4, Arizona 4-5, St. Louis 3-5 (The Cardinals are on their Bye)

Marshawn Lynch

Lynch will be called upon to keep the Jets' defense on their heels Sunday.

New York Jets (+6) at Seattle – The Jets travel West to play the Seahawks who are fresh off a home victory over Minnesota last weekend. New York comes off a bye and to everyone’s delight will once again be back in the conscience of football aficionados who are dying for some dirt on the struggling Jets. Head Coach Rex Ryan is sticking with Mark Sanchez at quarterback but my guess is we’ll still see Tim Tebow in any number of ways on Sunday. At 3-5, the Jets are in a must-win situation especially with the surprising Dolphins doing as well as they are.

The Seahawks rebounded from a tough loss in Detroit to knock off the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday 30-20 but gave up a boat-load of yards to Adrian Peterson on the ground. The defensive unit for Seattle should be ready for another does of running this week with Shonn Greene coming to town. Rex Ryan has made no bones about the fact they want to establish the running game first and foremost and the Seahawks will have to prove they stop it. Pete Carroll and Seattle aren’t exactly going to let Russell Wilson sling it all over either. I look for a lot of Marshawn Lynch in order to set up play-action. I like the Jets to stay within six, but I like to Seattle to win at home.

St. Louis (+11 1/2) at San Francisco – Both teams are coming off of their respective bye-weeks and both are healthy especially San Francisco. The Rams have lost three straight including their last outing in jolly-old England where they were torched by New England 45-7. Defensively, they are in the middle of the pack both against the pass and the run and they should expect to see lots of Frank Gore on Sunday. Offensively, the team is struggling more. 24th in passing is not got to get it done especially when you aren’t running it much better (18th).

The Niners come into the game with a defense ranked 2nd against the pass and 5th against the run so expect the Rams to try and find balance early to keep the Niners defense at bay. This will be easier said than done though as much as the Rams have struggled offensively in recent weeks. If St. Louis has any shot in this game out West, they have to force Alex Smith to beat them. Smith was outstanding in the team’s last game, a win over Arizona in the desert as Smith had just one incompletion and threw three touchdown passes.

If the Rams can stop Frank Gore and get some pressure on Smith early in the game then they definitely have a shot in this one. A big game by Sam Bradford would help too but I just don’t see those things happening. I like a close game early, but I like the Niners to pull away and win by 12 or more.


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