NFL Week 15 in the NFC West: Forget the rest, Cardinals win! (just kidding)

Jared Wickerham

The NFC West got three big wins in Week 15, and one damaging loss.

So Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers beat the New England Patriots on the road. In the rain. Perhaps the signature win of his young career and the one that the Niners will be able to look back on and say that this win won them the division. So the Seattle Seahawks dropped 50 points on a second straight opponent, moved closer to a playoff spot and scored at least one defensive touchdown in a second straight game.

Forget all that for a moment... rejoice Big Red Nation! The Arizona Cardinals' nine-game losing streak is over. The Cardinals finally won again, and are 5-9 on the season. Beanie Wells scored three touchdowns and that Cardinals defense showed some pride and resolve.

The West probably lost an NFC playoff contender in Week 15, as the St. Louis Rams fell to All Day Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings at home, dropped to 6-7-1 and would have to leapfrog four other teams to make the postseason.

But the Seahawks (9-5) look strong, and they return home to the best home field advantage in the NFL for a Sunday night game against the 49ers and the season-ender against the Rams. No question Seattle can win both and end up the division champs, with help of course. Marshawn Lynch is the best pure running back in the NFC behind Peterson, and Russell Wilson has come into his own after passing the rookie wall. And that defense. Wow.

The 49ers (10-3-1) have clinched a playoff spot. A win in Seattle on Sunday gives them the division once again. It won't be easy in the Northwest, but even if SF doesn't win, they should get the job done at home against Arizona the following week.

Sunday night's game put young Kaepernick on a national stage, and he flourished. The Niners' defense did not, as it relaxed after the 49ers built a 31-3 lead and gave up 28 straight points for a tie midway through the fourth quarter.

But if San Francisco's offense with Kaepernick is this good in future weeks, the rest of the NFL had better watch out.

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