NFC West Report, Week 7: Seahawks Brave The Elements

Well, what did you expect, sports fans? Personally, I thought the Cardinals would lose to the Seahawks on the road, but I suppose I didn't think Max Hall would post one of the worst QB performances in recent Cardinals history. Five turnovers, including a couple more on special teams, will do you in each and every time.

Seattle has held serve at home against Arizona and now has a lead in the division. Believe that.

At least the Niners lost to the winless Panthers.

Week 7 Results:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18, St. Louis Rams 17 - For the second consecutive week, the Rams got off to a hot first half start and were unable to keep that momentum rolling into the second half. Unfortunately for St. Louis, they weren't able to hold on this time.

Leading 17-6 at half, St. Louis barely threatened in the second half and fell when Josh Freeman completed a last second touchdown pass to Cadillac Williams to put Tampa Bay ahead.

In a duel of young, talented QBs, Sam Bradford won the statistical war over Josh Freeman (Bradford: 13/26, 126, 2 TD, 89.4 QB rating; Freeman 23/40, 212, 1 TD, 80.4 QB rating), but Freeman had the last laugh.

With the loss, St. Louis moves back to a game under .500, but again showed that their tough enough to stay in pretty much every game.

Carolina Panthers 23, San Francisco 49ers 20 - I've said it time and time again, but no team in the NFL knows how to rack up the moral victories quite like San Francisco. Coming off their first win of the season and facing the winless Panthers with a chance to get right back in the division race, the Niners promptly pissed directly down their leg.

When defensive lineman Ray McDonald took an awful Matt Moore pass to the end zone to give SF a 20-13 lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter, things looked all but over. But with Alex Smith sidelined with a shoulder injury and David Carr exhibiting the ability that has him on his fourth team in five seasons, the Niners were unable to move the ball to put the game away.

Matt Moore threw a touchdown pass to someone named David Gettis with 1:53 remaining in the fourth and then Carr compounded matters by throwing the ball back to Carolina three plays later. Carolina then used a 35-yard pass from Moore to another no-named reciever (Brandon LeFells) and kicked the game winning field goal. Hello 1-6.

How does Mike Singletary still have a job? 

Seattle Seahawks 22, Arizona Cardinals 10 - I highly doubt anyone in the Seahawks locker room or stands gives a damn that this win wasn't pretty. Hell, I don't think anyone would even pretend it was pretty. But it was a big win over a divisional rival that gives Seattle a leg-up in the division race.

Seattle did what has been the winning recipe for them all year: profit off special teams play, limit turnovers, and play generally smart football. The Cardinals did not match that recipe.

Arizona turned the ball over five times, including a putrid performance from wonderboy Max Hall (4/16, 36 yards, 1 INT, 1 fumble) and basically never gave themselves a chance to win in the loss.

The game was a field position battle until rookie wide reciever Andre Roberts committed yet another punt return gaffe, first dropping the punt and then attempting to pick it up one handed on the rainy field. Obviously the ball was knocked loose and Seattle recovered it on their two yard line. Two plays later, they had the only touchdown of the day.

Derek Anderson relieved the wildly ineffective Hall in the third quarter, but after a quick touchdown drive, reverted to the maddening style of inaccuracy Cardinals fans have become used to in such a short time.

Tim Hightower had another crushing fumble in the opponent's territory, while Jason Wright managed to muff a kick return so bad that he kicked it 15 yards away from himself. It was exactly that kind of day.

Standings:

Seahawks 4-2

Cardinals 3-3

Rams 3-4

49ers 1-6

Week 8 Games:

Broncos @ 49ers  - This one is technically a home game for the Niners, but it's set to take place in England, which basically just means that America wants the United Kingdom to hate football. 

I'd say the Niners had a worse week than Denver, what with the losing to a winless team like Carolina, but that would be insulting to Denver's 45-point home loss to a division rival with a sea monster as an owner. I have no idea which version of which team is going to show up, or even if Alex Smith is going to play, but on a pure talent basis, I'd have to pick the Broncos to knock SF down to 1-7.

Panthers @ Rams - San Diego, Washington, and Seattle all failed to win in the Edward Jones Dome (I think it's still called that); despite their Week 7 win over the Niners, I don't think Carolina is ready to post a W on the road. However, if Matt Moore can perform as well as he did in Sunday's win then you never know. No, just kidding; you know. St. Louis should get back to .500.  

Seahawks @ Raiders - Now we're going to see what this edition of the Seattle Seahawks is made of. Will they be a team capable of taking control of the NFC West with a convincing win over Oakland or will they slink back to the pack with a poor road performance?

Oakland is coming off of a 59-14 thumping of the Denver Broncos -- who I'm not sure have been alerted that the game started -- but every fiber of my being tells me that was a fluke of the highest regard. Provided Seattle can continue playing mistake-free football and get a few special teams breaks, they should be able to win their third straight game for the first time since 2007.

Buccaneers @ Cardinals - After their Week 7 win over the Rams, Bucs coach Raheem Morris declared that his team was the best in the NFC. Yup, he actually said that. While I applaud the former K-State defensive coordinator for his moxy in declaring his boys the best with wins over Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Carolina, he's just so very, very wrong.

In their only two real tests of the season, Tampa Bay was destroyed by both Pittsburgh and New Orleans. While the Cardinals are certainly not in that league, they are at home, and provided they can get one of their ridiculously bad quarterbacks to lead a touchdown drive, their defense should be enough to win.

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