The Seattle Seahawks were unable to stay in first-place in the NFC West, as the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-17 to improve to 4-2 on the season. Seattle is obviously on a bye, so they’re a half-game back of the Rams, whose bye week is on October 29th.
If you thought that the scoreline marked the return of an efficient Rams offense, you were half-right, as the woeful Jags run defense gave up 116 yards on 23 carries to Todd Gurley. The Rams passing game was largely ineffective, as Jared Goff was limited to 11/21 for 124 yards and a shovel pass touchdown to Gerald Everett. Jacksonville was extremely bad on special teams, as they allowed the opening kickoff to go for six, had a blocked punt scooped up and run back for another touchdown, and Jason Myers missed two field goals. Blake Bortles was sacked five times, fumbled twice, threw an interception in Rams territory, and once again wasted another strong showing by Jacksonville’s pass defense. I can only imagine how practices go for that team.
As if one Florida team losing to an NFC West side wasn’t enough, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dug themselves a 31-0 hole against the Arizona Cardinals, and their insane comeback came up just short, as the Cards hung on for a 38-33 win. Jameis Winston missed more than half of the game with a shoulder injury, so Ryan Fitzpatrick took the majority of the snaps. Astonishingly, Adrian Peterson discarded his walker and rushed for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Carson Palmer averaged more than 12 yards per dropback. Tampa Bay’s defense was excruciatingly useless and they are one of the bigger disappointments of the season.
Last and also least, the San Francisco 49ers suffered another nailbiting defeat, this time against the Washington Redskins, who squandered a 17-0 start but escaped 26-24 at FedEx Field. The good news for the Niners, who are 0-6 but have lost their lost five games by a combined 13 points, is that Kyle Shanahan has opted to make rookie QB C.J. Beathard the new starter, as Shanny has finally seen enough of Brian Hoyer to conclude that he is not good. Beathard went 19/36 for 245 yards, 1 TD, and then a desperation INT on San Francisco’s final offensive play.
NFC West Standings
Los Angeles Rams: 4-2 (1-1 vs. NFCW)
Seattle Seahawks: 3-2 (2-0 vs. NFCW)
Arizona Cardinals: 3-3 (1-0 vs. NFCW)
San Francisco 49ers: 0-6 (0-3 vs. NFCW)
Arizona plays Los Angeles next Sunday in London, so barring a tie, we’ll either see both teams at 4-3 or the Rams at 5-2. You have to root for an Arizona win or a tie if you’re a Seahawks fan, as there’s still not much reason to believe the Cardinals can make a serious playoff push.
As for everyone else’s week 7, Seattle is on the road against the winless Giants, while San Francisco hosts the 2-3 Cowboys in a game that Dallas badly needs. The Seahawks didn’t get any favorable divisional results (other than 49ers schadenfreude), but they will be guaranteed first-place heading into November with wins over the Giants and Texans these next two weeks.