Throughout the 2018 NFL season we will be keeping close tabs on the rest of the NFC West, with attention obviously focused on the Los Angeles Rams, heavy favorites to win the division and clear-cut Super Bowl contenders. This week, the Rams didn’t allow a point against what could be the worst team in the NFL, while the San Francisco 49ers got in the win column, but it was hardly easy.
Los Angeles Rams 34 Arizona Cardinals 0
We can rightly moan about the Seattle Seahawks’ abysmal offense, but at least this team isn’t paying $20 million to start Sam Bradford, who went 17/27 for 90 (!!!) yards and an interception. Bradford is averaging roughly four yards per attempt and has led one touchdown drive through two games.
Arizona’s defense largely shut down the Rams rushing attack, although Todd Gurley did have a hat-trick of touchdowns despite just 42 yards on 19 carries. What is the real surprise is for the second straight week, the once very formidable Cardinals secondary got torn apart, as Jared Goff completed 24/32 for 354 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Steve Wilks has his work cut out for him, and it’s a shitload of work. You have to wonder when Josh Rosen will start, because Bradford looks washed up. They didn’t even cross midfield more than once!
San Francisco 49ers 30 Detroit Lions 27
The 49ers’ home debut was looking like a blowout win, up 30-13 in the 4th quarter, and then they started to disintegrate, which is saying something considering LaGarrette Blount got tossed for being an idiot again while it was 30-13.
Matt Breida rushed for 138 yards, with 66 coming on a touchdown run against Matt Patricia’s conclusively bad Lions defense. Detroit did a superb job fighting back, cutting the deficit to 30-27. Needing a stop in order to get the offense on the field again, the Lions came up with an interception of Jimmy Garoppolo on a terrible pass late in the 4th quarter, as Tracy Walker raced all the way inside San Francisco’s 10. The problem? A holding penalty gave the Niners an automatic first-down, and it was on a 3rd down play. Detroit did get another stop, but with no timeouts left and starting the game-tying (or game-winning) possession at their own 16, Matthew Stafford could only lead the Lions as far as their own 39.
You be the judge! Do you see holding? And how bad was this throw by Jimmy G?
Walker picked off Jimmy G. on 3rd down, but it was called back because Diggs was called for defensive holding. #OnePride #GoNiners pic.twitter.com/Dncdi8HJAU— New Account (@ftbeard_17) September 16, 2018
Here’s the controversial holding call: pic.twitter.com/9t0hwthEO1— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) September 16, 2018
Don't like to see a flag for someone getting a jam inside 5 yards before the ball was thrown to a different receiver. This wiped out a huge INT for Detroit. pic.twitter.com/lziTUtPopX— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) September 17, 2018
Kyle Shanahan’s bunch nearly squandered a 17-point lead at home to a Lions team that looks like they’ll be picking top-10 in the draft next year. Hmm...
Nevertheless, a win is a win and given how daunting that Niners schedule is, they’ll take what they can get. The offensive line has to be a major concern in terms of pass protection, as Jimmy G was sacked six times, so the Niners only had 156 net yards through the air. 190 yards on the ground sure can help offset those struggles.
NFC West Standings
Rams (2-0, 1-0 div)
49ers (1-1, 0-0 div)
Seahawks (0-2, 0-0 div)
Cardinals (0-2, 0-1 div)
Next Week’s Schedule
Cowboys at Seahawks (1:25 PM PT, FOX)
Chargers at Rams (1:05 PM PT, CBS)
Bears at Cardinals (1:25 PM PT, FOX)
49ers at Chiefs (10 AM PT, FOX)