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NFL Week 8 recap: 49ers assume command in NFC West, again

The San Francisco 49ers 24-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals Monday gave them control of the NFC West for the time being.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Bay Area is the place to be for winning sports these days. Well, at least until the Golden State Warriors open the NBA season and the Cal football team loses again.

The San Francisco Giants are baseball's World Series champs, and the day after they won it all, the NFL's San Francisco 49ers tore apart the Arizona Cardinals on the road, 24-3, and moved two games up on two rivals in the NFC West.

The 49ers held the Cards to seven total rushing yards, and at 6-2 lead the Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks (both 4-4) by two games. Both Arizona and Seattle can pick up a half-game this weekend on idle San Francisco and the last-place St. Louis Rams (3-5), which are both on byes in Week 9.

But Arizona goes to Green Bay to face the Packers, who appear to have righted themselves after a slow start and at 5-3 have won three in a row. The Seahawks host offensively-challenged Minnesota on Sunday, but the Vikings have playmakers in Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin, a good pass rush with Jared Allen and aren't such a fluke at 5-3.

The Cardinals have got to do something about an offense that is the second-least productive in the NFC. Only Philadelphia has scored fewer points, and now there appears to be holes in the pass coverage on defense. Four losses in a row is nearing historical futility for a team that opened the season 4-0.

The 49ers figure to build on their lead after the bye. They have St. Louis at home on Nov. 11, the Chicago Bears at home and go to faulty New Orleans on Nov. 25.

Things could get worse for the Cardinals before they get better. It's off to currently undefeated Atlanta on Nov. 18 after the bye. Arizona could be 4-6 by then with six straight defeats.

The Seahawks are solid at home, and get Minnesota and the struggling New York Jets at CenturyLink Field over the next to weeks before their bye. It stands to reason that the Hawks will be in second place after those games.

The Rams have finally crashed back to earth after a 45-7 blowout loss to the New England Patriots in London on Sunday. At midseason, St. Louis is where most figured they would be and will remain in the NFC West, last place.