The NFC West is not for the weak of heart. If you're a fan of any team in this division, I'd just prepare yourself for a long, long season where you're never really out of the race. Never get too high, never get too low. I'm still convinced Derek Anderson may kill me by Week 9.
Week 3 Results:
Kansas City Chiefs 31 San Francisco 49ers 10 - Through the Chiefs' first two games of the season, they won basically on the strength of big defensive and special teams plays; things changed a bit on Sunday. Kansas City gashed San Francisco for 457 yards of total offense -- including 207 on the ground. The Niners were in the game until halftime, but in the third quarter, Matt Cassel connected on a pair of TDs -- including some trickery -- to drop SF to 0-3. I guess that moral victory for the Niners on Monday Night Football didn't mean quite as much people thought.
Arizona Cardinals 24 Oakland Raiders 23 - Note to all Cardinal fans: Don't kick a gift horse in the mouth. Sebastian Janikowski missed three field goals, including a 32-yarder as time expired to give the Cardinals their second win of the season. While some people will look at the incredible good fortune of the team to be the beneficiary of those freak missed field goals and state how much the Cards deserved to lose, you've also got to look at the fact that not one but TWO Cardinal gunners touched punts that handed the ball back to Oakland. I would assume the Cardinals are not going to be surrendering 110 yards in free "offense" like that every week.
St. Louis Rams 30 Washington Redskins 16 - Surprise! St. Louis got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 14-0 first quarter lead, but early in the third quarter the Redskins found themselves ahead 16-14. Game, set, match, right? Not exactly. From the middle part of the third on, the Rams controlled the pace of the game and actually rolled quite comfortably to a two touchdown victory. Sam Bradford was again solid for St. Louis and he connected with his new favorite target Mark Clayton five times for 85 yards. What's more impressive is that the Rams won this game -- one that snapped a 14-game home losing streak -- without the services of Stephen Jackson in the second half.
Seattle Seahawks 27 San Diego Chargers 20 - You might be asking yourself how a team manages to be outgained by a staggering 247 yards and still wins by a touchdown. Go ahead and ask Leon Washington and the Chargers special teams. Seattle opened up a 17-0 lead on San Diego, highlighted by a Washington kickoff return for a touchdown, but with 6:39 to go in the game, the Chargers had drawn even. On the ensuing kickoff, Washington again worked his magic and took his second kick of the day to the house to give Seattle a lead they would not give back. San Diego had a few passes in the Seattle red zone fall short to close the win for the Seahawks.
Week 4 Games:
49ers @ Falcons - The Falcons are coming off a road win over the defending Super Bowl champions while the Niners are reeling and have just fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye and benched linebacker Takeo Spikes. Add to that the fact that since 2005, San Francisco is 2-22 in 10 a.m. Pacific kickoff times against non-Rams opponents and you'd think San Fran is priming for an ass-kicking. Does that mean they'll win? Probably, somehow.
Seahawks @ Rams - With all the talk about the 49ers and Cardinals headed into the season, it appears most people wrote off these squads. Well, looking at slate of games for the weekend, it's entirely feasible that by Monday either the Seahawks could be alone in first or the Rams could be tied at the top. Let that wash over you. I'm not entirely certain the Seahawks are anything but a team that had some breaks go for it at home, so we'll see how they fare on the road.
Cardinals @ Chargers - Barring a few kickoff returns for touchdowns, I think the Cardinals might be a little screwed here. San Diego is below .500 and probably has a bit of urgency since the stupid Seahawks decided to beat them. I shudder to think of what Phillip Rivers will do to the Cardinals secondary.