Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/24/12
People are starting to catch on to this game that the NFC West is playing with everybody. As soon as the talk arises of this division being the best in football, they combine to go 2-6 in two weeks.There are still three teams above .500, but after a couple of rough weeks, three teams are heading into this weekend as underdogs. All four squads are at their best with their backs against the wall and another upset or two could be in store this week.Here is your NFC West preview for Week 8.New England Patriots (4-3) @ St. Louis Rams (3-4)The St. Louis Rams undefeated record at the Edward Jones Dome came to an end this past Sunday with a 30-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers. They played a pretty tough game, but just ran into the wrong team at the wrong time.St. Louis will be facing another strong team at home in Week 8 as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are in town. The Pats took first place in the AFC East with an overtime win over the New York Jets a few days ago.Despite being first in the division, New England is not the same team they have been in years past. In fact, they have not lost this many games by Week 8 since 2005.I have mentioned this several times over the past couple of weeks and I will continue to say it until proven wrong... the Rams are a tough team to beat when they are at home. New England is 0-2 against the NFC West this season and an upset would not surprise me.Seattle Seahawks (4-3) @ Detroit Lions (2-3)Following a trip to Candlestick, the Seattle Seahawks had a few extra days to prepare for their game against the Detroit Lions. The scheduling in this game could not have been any better for Seattle. Detroit will have a short week, coming off of a tough Monday Night Football matchup against the Chicago Bears.As we close in on the second half of the season, every game is an important one. The Seahawks need a win to keep up with the rest of the division as does Detroit. This is a great test for both teams. A great offense vs. a great defense and it won’t take long to see which side prevails.The Lions defense will have a hard time stopping Marshawn Lynch. This game will come down to whether or not the Seahawks can contain Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.San Francisco 49ers (5-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-3)For the second week in a row, two NFC West teams will invade prime time. The San Francisco 49ers will return to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.This game has a lot more to it than many would have expected at the start of the year. These two teams are fighting for first place in the division and will be looking to get an early edge over one another.San Francisco will be looking to hold their lead in the division and prove to the millions watching that they are the team to beat. They will also be looking to avenge the loss they suffered in Arizona last season.For the Cardinals, this is their most important game of the year. They started off strong, but have fallen back to reality over the past three weeks. This team is struggling right now and this is the game that will prove whether they are legitament playoff contenders or not.Both teams have something to play for and it is usually a war when they collide. If Arizona can turn things around, then this will be a very fun game to watch.
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