The impressive NFC West

Posted by Darren Urban on October 8, 2012 – 9:11 am

Every single team in the NFC West is above .500 five games into the season.

That’s never happened before. At least, it’s never happened since the NFC West was reconfigured to include the Cardinals, so we’re going back a decade-plus, back to when Arizona “moved” west in 2002. In fact, after five games, the division has never had more than two teams above .500 at this point.

But there the standings show today with the Cards and 49ers at 4-1 and the Seahawks and Rams at 3-2. The Niners are coming off an incredibly impressive performance, crushing visiting Buffalo, 45-3, and becoming the first team in NFL history with both 300 yards passing and 300 yards rushing in a single game. The Bills now will spend this week here in Arizona, practicing at Arizona State University to prep for their game against the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium, perhaps reeling as they visit.

The ante has certainly been raised for the division, however. It’s clear that each team has a defense that will leave the opponent bruised and beaten up after a game. The Cardinals can attest to that after having seen both the Seahawks and Rams (and everyone knows what the Niners can do.) It’s going to make for an intense season for the division that in recent years, most have loved to pick on. Not anymore.

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28 Responses to “The impressive NFC West”

  1. By D on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    New week to get healthy. My updated draft for AZ-

    1) Round 1– LT. T. Lewan, MI. Scottsdale product, large left tackle that reminds some of Jake Long. Time to say farewell to Basita and Brown. Still groom Potter as his backup.
    2) Round 2–RB. S. Taylor, Stanford. Time to say goodbye to Beanie. He is not dependable due to injuries. (look to trade around draft for pick)
    3) Round 3–OG A. Bailey, Ark. Large physical Guard that can replace Synder, a nice guy but bad free agent signing.
    4) Round 4–DE D. Jones Ucla. Need younger backup on Dline, someone to groom to replace Darnell in three years.
    5) Round 5–OLB J. Attaochu GT. If Groves can’t be resigned or if Obrien doesn’t show steady progress, someone to rotate in at OLB. Never can have enough pass rushers.

  2. By Jason Marcus on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    I just wanna say ,I love this team, and the whole organization, watching that vid about Peterson made me realize how much heart this team has, and the MASSIVE potential we have this year, get them bills…….GO CARDS GO MOM AND POP PETERSON!!!

  3. By nrock on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    with the rise of our division is there a possibility that two teams from the nfc west, can be in the nfc chamionship?

  4. By Darren Urban on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    nrock —

    RE: NFC championship

    Of course it is possible, as of now.

  5. By MIKE G on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is cool! I think all 4 teams in the West are pretty good defensively. I also think the coaching has gotten better as well. Adding Jeff Fisher to the division does make the quality overall better. Buffalo has looked horrible on defense the last 2 weeks – I saw some of the SF game yesterday and their tackling was really bad. Arizona might have the best team to play to get their offense on track this coming week. I think to Card’s will bounce back and play a sound game. Hey Darren- I know it’s early yet but do you think Hypen will suit up this week????? We could use him in the backfield!!!

  6. By T-Roy on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    4-2 will win the West this year. I feel strongly that the CARDS will be therein the end. I see the teams that we have to play look weker than in past years, nut, we aren’t. O-Line weakest part of the team. A good home game crowd will certanly help with their confidence. Lets get our confidence back. Wehave only lost 1 game. Out of 5. Thats a 12-4 record at that pace. Right? Great to see that the NFC West isn’t anyone’s step child any longer.

  7. By Texascard on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    D. You are either an idiot or a damn fool. Cardinal chick. Great post. Darren thanks for all you do and for the extra info. I love these cards.

  8. By maham on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    One other thing that jumps out…All NFC West teams are undefeated at home this year.

    And, only three of the divisions losses have come from outside of the NFC West.

    Very impressive stats, still early, but still impressive.

    Too early to get excited but, could it be, two wild card teams from NFC West.

  9. By jocards on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    We all got a big dose of reality on Thursday in St. Louis….Clearly there is a lot of work to be done but did any of us really believe there wasn’t? Certainly it was a disappointing loss to say the least but as I’ve stated here many times recently; the NFL is a week to week struggle. I’m not concerned about the 49ers or any team other than the Cardinals…..and for this week the Bills. Regroup, refocus and work toward fixing the problems.

  10. By johnnybluenose on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    hey T-Roy. a 3 and 1 start translates to a 12 and four finish. we are at 4 and 1. that actually translates to a finish of 12.8 and 3.2. if you want to round it off it would be 13 and 3. don’t worry. we won’t finish 13-3. we won’t finish 12-4 either.

  11. By D on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    Texascard-my post is productive to improving the weak areas of the team, if you have some constructive critism backed up by facts, I would be glad to read them.

  12. By Matt on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    Do you know if Fitz got fined for his eye black last game?

  13. By Darren Urban on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    Matt —

    RE: Eye black

    I have not heard anything like that, no.

  14. By Dynosoar on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    East 10-10 or 9-11, depends on Jets / Texans
    North 9-10
    South 9-10 or 8-11, depends on Jets / Texans
    West 7-12

    East 10-9
    North 11-8
    South 8-11

    West 14-6

    And of those 6 losses, three are divisional.

    4-1 is thrilling. I’d love to see 8-1 at the bye.
    Go Cards!

    Texascard, not sure about D, but I know I’ve been called both.

  15. By Peter in Canada on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    I have been away and just seen Thursday’s game on tape. The result was disappointing but not half as disappointing as reading the previous two threads where after one loss all the negativity sets in. I think Buffalo will not give the OL near as much trouble as the Rams because their D looks awful. Their offence shouldn’t trouble our D. I am optimistic that by next week we will be 5-1.

    @Darren when we go to 3 receivers we obviously need blocking help from our one back. Since that is Sherman(do you agree) do you see him getting any running plays or screens to keep the defences honest. He seems like a load. What do you think.

  16. By Darren Urban on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    Peter —

    RE: Sherman

    This offense hasn’t used the fullback much in the past. Given Williams injury, that might change now.

  17. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    If the Bills are practicing at ASU (love that acronym,BTW) where are the Sun Devils getting ready for their Thursday game, Darren? The bubble?

  18. By Darren Urban on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Sun Devils

    My guess is the Bills had to work around ASU’s schedule.

  19. By Dynosoar on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    As of today, we’re in a three way tie for first in least touchdowns allowed. Arizona, Houston and Seattle have only allowed 6 touchdowns. We’ll see what NYJ can do tonight.

    The Bills have allowed 12. After huge losses the last two weeks, will the Bills feel the weight of defeat or will they dig deep and resolve to fight for this win?

    Success breeds success and 4-1 is success.

    We’re 4th with 17 sacks, Bills are 17th with 10. Both Rams and Dolphins are tied at 5th with 15, they both have over half their sacks against us. Here’s to protection like weeks one and two.

  20. By Dynosoar on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    I’m thrilled to see Johnnybluenose believes we’ll finish 15-1 or 14-2. I think you may be right. Looking forward to the next 11 games, and the next three after that.

  21. By clssylssy on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    The NFC West is the toughest Division in the league and it’s going to be tough taking the Championship but I believe we can do it if we keep our focus, don’t make stupid mistakes and have the heart and tenacity to hang tough. We beat the 9ers in their house last year with a backup QB when everybody was counting us down and finished and we can do it again. We are better this year with a killer D but we have to stay humble and not get complacent.We have to respect our backups because when the dust clears at the end of the season they will be the ones finishing strong. Seattle at home is always one of our toughest because of Qwest stadium (or whatever they call it now) we’re coming into our own and Cards stadium is getting a rep of it’s own. The Vikes are going to be a good way for grading our progress but teams who are at the bottom of their Division have usually given us the most problems. I hope we can use the Bills Game to rebuild some of our confidence and learn from the mistakes we made in St. Louis and also against the Phins. I would hope Fitz doesn’t get a fine for his eye black. That would be so like the NFL and I really don’t think they can stand much more bad press after the events of late! GO CARDS! I LUV YOU GUYS!

  22. By georgiebird on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    Records in the NFC West are real good and there has definitely been improvement. But the NFC West has a real low ceiling because there are no good QBs in the Division. So I disagree with your premise in the long run.

  23. By georgiebird on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    Do you think Stockton would have learned to pronounce Danny’s last name?

  24. By Scott H on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    Yup, this division is no joke. Of course I’m glad to see the Cardinals leading the charge of the up-swing but with the way Seattle and St Louis are playing, there is really no room for error. It was not good to see every other team BUT the Cardinals win this week. I really don’t think anyone realizes it yet because of long-standing perceptions that ALL four of these teams don’t have to be taken seriously, but this division IS the best in football right now.

  25. By johnnybluenose on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    @clssylssy…just to be clear, we lost to the niners on the road last year, 23-7.

  26. By johnnybluenose on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply

    @ Dynosoar….mock me if you want to but no one, including you i’m sure, expects our cardinals to go 15-1 or 14-2 this year. we will be fortunate to do as well as 10-6 and i am willing to bet that whiz would be more than happy right now if he could look twelve weeks into the future and see ten wins for us this year. let’s see how this plays out.

  27. By Cobra on Oct 8, 2012 | Reply


    Re: updated draft picks,

    Really, in week 5. You are basing your decision on College players who have over half a season to go. You were the first comment I read, I thought, you are way out of line. Now, I”m sure I will here the same once I read further, and I always read all comments before I post anything until today.

  28. By clssylssy on Oct 9, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry johnny…I stand corrected…could have sworn we beat them in t heir house. Nonetheless we were one of only three teams they fell to and it was with a backup when many of our players were beginning to be the worse for wear. It was sweet that our defense kicked in at about that time…so, my point is we have a long road ahead but we can overcome!

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