After a crazy week of action, the NFC West has a much easier week ahead of them. On paper, the games don’t seem to be important, but there are a few reasons to watch them this Sunday. From player returns to rival games, there are a few things to talk about before the weekend.
Here is the NFC West Week 4 preview.
San Francisco 49ers (2-1) @ New York Jets (2-1)
After being upset by the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco will be looking to bounce back this week against the New York Jets.
With Darrelle Revis out for the year, the 49ers now have the option to go with a passing attack. This is not something we are used to seeing from the team, but they could look to give Frank Gore some rest and Randy Moss some reps.
San Francisco’s defense will give the Jets offense some trouble this week and it will be interesting to see how much they use Tim Tebow. The 49ers are great at defending the run, but using Tebow after game planning for Sanchez could throw off San Francisco and give New York the edge that they need to win this game.
While Tebow gives the Jets the best chance to win, I do not see San Francisco falling to .500 under Coach Harbaugh. A blowout could be in order up in the Big Apple.
St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
The NFC West has four teams built with solid defense and a subpar offense. So, if you are a fan of strong defense, then these division games are for you. These two teams are just a game apart in the standings and both of them have something to prove.
After a week full of controversy, Seattle needs a win so that everybody forgets about what happened against Green Bay. The Rams are in a different situation. They are not expected to win, but if they do, it will prove that they can keep up with the rest of the division.
Whether they won the game or not, Seattle was able to keep it close with Green Bay and they also killed Dallas. They are a legitament playoff contender and they will prove it with a win over the Rams this Sunday.
Miami Dolphins @ Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals improved their record to 3-0 this past Sunday with a 21-point win over Philadelphia. The win puts them at 3-0 for the first time since they were in St. Louis (1974). They are also one of only three undefeated teams and have sole possession of first in the NFC West division.
Arizona has the easy part of their coming up and it is quite possible that they start the year 7-0. After Week 4, they will face the Rams on Thursday Night Football, before playing Buffalo and then Minnesota.
This game features the return of two former Cardinals in Richard Marshall and Karlos Dansby. Marshall was a very important member of the Arizona defense in 2011 and it would have been great if they re-signed him. Dansby, on the other hand, was the leader of an unsuccessful defense. He is a solid linebacker, but is overpaid and not nearly as good as current Cards linebacker Daryl Washington.
Both teams have similar models; however Arizona has a better defense and the best wide receiver in football. If they continue to play the way they have the past three weeks, then this game won’t be close.
Players to Watch
At the start of the year it was looking like the Arizona Cardinals were going to have a solid running back duo this season. Unfortunately for them, the injury bug bit Beanie Wells again and he will be out of the lineup until November.
LaRod Stephens-Howling did not practice on Wednesday due to a groin injury so the majority of the load will be on Ryan Williams this Sunday. In three games he has carried the ball no more than 13 times. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the workload he is expected to get this Sunday.
This weekend we will find out if he knee is 100 percent, if he is a capable starter and if he is a viable fantasy football starter.
What a week Chris Clemons had. Overshadowed by a couple of botched calls, Clemons sacked Aaron Rodgers four times on Monday night. He completely destroyed the Packers offensive line and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he did the same to a weak Rams front.
The Seahawks defensive end already has five sacks on the year. He is a very dangerous player that could single handily win this game.
If there is one man that is going to have a lot to say about Seattle during their game, it is going to be Cortland Finnegan. The Seahawks have faced a lot of accusations over the past few days and you can almost guarantee that Finnegan will use it to his advantage.
He is a good defender and a great trash talker. Whether he picks off a pass, recovers a fumble or draws a couple of penalties, he will have an impact on this game. His first target–probably Golden Tate.
The New York Jets haven’t exactly faced the cream of the crop when it comes tight ends this season. Scott Chandler, Heath Miller and Anthony Fasano are not bad, but they are not Vernon Davis either.
Miller and Chandler both scored against the Jets while Fasano had his best game against them. New York does not have Revis in the game and they will likely have a lot of trouble covering Vernon Davis.
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