Well, the Seattle Seahawks had a decent week off. On the heels of a three-game winning streak, the team entered the bye with a full head of steam, albeit with a host of injury concerns that had a lot of us on edge. Hopefully, the rest and recuperation that the extra time off was able to offer will be enough for the team to heal up and come out swinging in Week 6; while the San Francisco 49ers remain the clear top dogs in the NFC West, the LA Rams stumbled and the Arizona Cardinals faltered. At 3-1, the Seahawks are in firm grasp of second place in their division, even if the 49ers are currently looking like an impenetrable fortress of doom at this point. Below is a quick wrap-up for each game.
Bengals 34, Cardinals 20
Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals had to get going at some point. Maybe “get going” is a bit strong after a win over the hapless Cardinals, but this Arizona team is the same one that handed the Dallas Cowboys their only loss prior to the destruction they suffered Sunday night. Through five games, Joshua Dobbs has been better than expected as a passer and is currently tied with Jared Goff for the seventh fastest time-to-throw in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. His average depth of target is 7.8 (0.1 higher than Geno Smith’s), so he isn’t exclusively taking dump-offs. But he also just had a rough outing that saw him commit three turnovers as the offense sputtered without James Conner, who suffered a knee injury leaving his status for Week 6 up in the air. With Kyler Murray’s future in question (is it even a question at this point?), this team is in the midst of an identity-crisis that is unlikely to be resolved in 2023.
The Cardinals go on the road to take on the Rams in Week 6.
Eagles 23, Rams 14
The LA Rams also got to stay at home this weekend, though it didn’t seem to matter as they also lost by two scores to a 2022 playoff team. The Eagles are 5-0, and while they may not look quite as dominant as some of us may have expected, they are also looking like the most formidable force in the NFC, next to the 49ers of course. Both remain the only undefeated teams in the league. The Rams, meanwhile, are 2-3 and are seeing their early optimism dissipate after their inspiring Week 1 dismantling of the Seahawks. They are showing the effects of some of the moves that helped them build a Super Bowl winning roster a couple years ago.
They are fortunate enough, however, to remain at home for the next two weeks, where they will take on the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers; combine this with the fact that they now have Cooper Kupp back in the fold and are still continuing to get next-level production out of rookie sensation Puka Nacua. Seeing them get back to a winning record in the neat future isn’t out of the question.
The Rams stay at home to host the Cardinals next week.
49ers 42, Cowboys 10
No Monday starts out well when the front of Niners Nation looks like this.
Did anybody expect this? The Cowboys may just simply not be the same team without Trevon Diggs. Heading into this game, they were 3-1 and hot off a 38-3 drubbing of the New England Patriots. But the Pats have scored 55 total points this season through five games and clearly have big problems on their hands. The ‘Boys lost to the Cardinals the week prior, and last night they looked much closer to that mistake-prone team that committed 13 penalties in Week 3. Still, the 49ers went into this game with something to prove; only one of their victories this season (the Steelers in Week 1) has been over a team that currently holds a winning record. Could Brock Purdy handle a defense as feisty as even a Diggs-less Dallas? Well, the answer was unfortunately yes. Dallas still has a seemingly loaded defense, and prior to yesterday, they had outscored their opponents 86-41. The Cardinals put up 28 points on them, and otherwise they allowed 0, 10, and 3 points in their other three games. And then the Niners scored 42. That is correct — the 49ers outscored the Cowboys’ first four opponents aggregate point total. I hate it.
The 49ers head out of town to take on the Cleveland Browns. Goody.
As you may recall, Tyler detailed how the Seahawks are already in tenuous playoff positioning in the way-too-early postseason projections. Fortunately, things went well and the Seahawks should see their probability improve somewhat with the Rams’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. And.... the 49ers might as well just turn that into 99.99%. But fortunately, their odds of winning the NFC West aren’t anywhere near that high right now, so hopefully the Seahawks will bring some extra motivation into their Week 6 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.