Week 12 was not a kind one to the NFC West. Just two weeks after an undefeated week, only one team managed to muster a victory, and it was mainly because one team had to win because the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams had a divisional game. The San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams all lost in Week 12.
It started on Thanksgiving night with the "Harbaugh Bowl" that had Jim Harbaugh taking San Fran to Baltimore to face his brother's Ravens. In the end, the Niners were dominated completely. Alex Smith was sacked nine times. As you are reading this, Terrell Suggs just sacked Smith again, in fact -- oh, that was just in Smith's recurring nightmare. However, at 9-2, no one is saying that the Niners are on their way down.
Seattle lost to the Washington Redskins, and did so by pretty much giving up. They sit now at 4-7.
The Arizona Cardinals got zero in quarterback production from John Skelton, who had the lowest QB rating of the entire weekend, but had another dazzling punt return touchdown from Patrick Peterson and a franchise record performance by Beanie Wells. Wells rushed for 228 yards and a touchdown, including two career-long runs of 71 and 53 yards.
The win brings the Cardinals, winners in three of their last four games, to 4-7, while the Rams fall to 2-9. The calls for a change in head coach and even general manager are getting louder and louder in St. Louis.
Continue reading to get perspectives from the respective NFC West team blogs after the games on Sunday.
The St. Louis Rams lost another game that they could have just as easily won today. Then again, that really is nothing new for this team. Blame the injuries, blame the lockout, those things certainly factored into the Rams eighth consecutive losing season, but the real problems start higher up the food chain. After watching today's loss, it becomes pretty hard to defend Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo, not to mention General Manager Billy Devaney.
This had all the hallmarks of a really ugly game right from the first quarter. Grossman had one incompletion in his first two drives, Fred Davis in particular ate us up, and the Redskins running game looked good. A bit of a surprise, especially to those that believe this defense is elite (it's not), but not that shocking considering the weaknesses and strengths of this defense. We'll take a closer look at this during the coming week, obviously, but right now my first gut reaction is that Mike and Kyle Shanahan simply outschemed and outplaycalled the Seahawks, and this would show up again later in the game, exploiting specific weaknesses in lack of pass rush and difficulty against tight ends that have shown up all season.
If you're going to win, that's how you should do it. In a game dominated by Chris Beanie Wells and Patrick Peterson, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the St. Louis Rams 23-20 to improve their record to 4-7. Although parts of the game got downright disgusting, in the end, the Cardinals powered through for the win.
The San Francisco 49ers went into Baltimore last night and took a bit a thumping as the offense struggled to get much of anything going for sixty minutes. The defense made some strong stands, but also saw the Ravens offense take advantage of their conservative approach. The Ravens did not put up a huge point total or a ton of yards, but they were able to do enough to get the victory.