The NFC left to the West

Posted by Darren Urban on January 12, 2014 – 2:01 pm

If the NFC West was the best division in the NFL this season, it’s only fitting that the NFC Championship comes down to the 49ers visiting the Seahawks. The Cardinals, of course, know both intimately. It hasn’t been a great matchup for the 49ers in Seattle — yes, the Niners beat the Seahawks in the last meeting, but the last two times the 49ers have gone to Seattle, the Seahawks have won 29-3 and 42-13. Pretty dominant and one-sided.

I’d be shocked if the 49ers don’t make it much closer. The Seahawks deservedly will be favored though, and it will be difficult to pull off a road win. Then again, the 49ers are playing very well, better than the team that went into Seattle much earlier this season. I’d also guess that regardless of the AFC team, the winner of 49ers-Seahawks will be favored in the Super Bowl in the cold of New York. Both teams have been the best in the NFC all season. And, with the Broncos possibly sprinkled in, they have reason to lay claim to being the best two teams in the NFL.

You can be sure there are a lot of Cardinals seeing the results of these playoff games and wishing they would have had a chance to be in the mix, especially with the way they played against both teams in the last two weeks of the regular season. With that, I have to include a tweet — a re-tweet, actually — from the Cardinals’ official Twitter account from earlier today. No, I was not the author.

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42 Responses to “The NFC left to the West”

  1. By Big Ken on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Yes, I’m gonna root for the Seattle Seahawks to go all the way. But really we kind of own them.

  2. By Chuck 1 on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    With mixed feelings, I’m glad that the “Hawks” and 9ers are the last two teams standing in the NFC.
    It validates the predominant belief that the NFC “Best” IS the best Division in the NFC.
    There’s should be no embarrassment in coming in third in that Division THIS SEASON.
    From now on, that has to change.

  3. By joe.holst on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Carolina is a joke and were lucky to be in a soft division to get where they were.

  4. By jeffgollin on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Mixed emotions – Pride in being a member of the NFC West, but a natural enmity toward 2 division opponents.

  5. By Dr. G. on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Yep, the multitude of Cardinal fans and players must be seeing “RED” that we are not in the mix. Most of the cylinders were firing very well after mid-season.

    Numerous things can point to the reasons we lost a winnable game or two that would have put us in the mix, but memories will recall quite a number of games, both pre and regular season , our lovable, gentle giant OT provided somewhat easy access to our QB. Arians has done a terrific job, but between him, Keim and Michael, he was the one delegated to deliver the famous line… “Who you gonna get?” The temp answer was on the roster all the time!

    It became painfully obvious after 6 or 7 games (pre season included) that a fix was desperately needed. That is when the offense started to gel…

    Really looking forward to this year… should be easier to manage and organize. Let’s hope the injured players are fully healed. Let’s hope the players who leave will be backed up with those we have along with free agency…. I foresee both wildcards coming from the NFC West…… Be well…

  6. By erik on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    I hope they both lose πŸ™‚

  7. By Dr. G. on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Another note – Still harping on the QB pick….

    Fact – Russell Wilson, picked – 3rd round #12 – Who knew?

    Fact – Collin Kaepernick – Picked 2nd round – #4 Who knew?

    Many QB’s in this upcoming draft rated very well…. but I’m thingking..

    Again I say…. A J McCarran is the sleeper in this draft. Heisman finalist, really smart, a natural leader, good arm, good frame, played for the best coach in the NCAA, quick and fast for a QB… terrific record… just needs to learn the pocket a little better. And for some, dating Miss Alabama is a plus!! She sees a good thing here!.. I hope Keim thinks on this guy… maybe 2nd round. He would be a great protege for Palmer….


  8. By Scott H on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Last year this time, this would have really been depressing. Watching our division mates playing to go to the SB when the Cardinals were a hot mess and had just lost 11 of 12 would have been miserable. What am I saying – it WAS miserable! But I don’t feel that way at all right now. The Cards showed they can hang with these teams and maybe THEY should feel lucky they don’t have to deal with the Cardinals again this year. THAT feels sooooo much better.

  9. By Wes on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    @Big Ken

    I dont. I wanted them both to lose this weekend, but it is nice seeing Russel Wilsons home record and knowing that we are that one loss.

  10. By Kurt on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Seattle and San Francisco playing for the NFC Championship are a testament to the quality of the football played in the NFC West and how far the Cardinals have come this year.

  11. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    The Cards should be on their way to Seattle and then NYC….

  12. By Mike G on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Playoff games were good thus far- last week and this week! I believe
    San Fran – Seattle in the NFC Championship game is justified. They are the two best in the NFC. That game should be very good next week. Should be physical.
    Wish the Card’s did make the playoffs this year–they would have done some damage. Really looking forward to next year–Hopefully the team will resign some key guys and have a nice productive draft!!!—-Hey Darren–Thanks for covering the team with some nice articles and blogs— Go Cards!

  13. By georgiebird on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    Cards were the 3rd best team in the NFC and probably in the top 5 or 6 in the NFL.

  14. By ored on Jan 12, 2014 | Reply

    that’s a bit strong,don’t think we own anybody in our division…yet,and as much as i dislike the 9er’s and seahawks,gotta pull for them to represent our division.maybe next year we continue where we left off and prove ourselves.

  15. By RED C on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Seattle is thanking their lucky stars that our dirty birds are not the team going up there. That being said I want the Seahawks to win can`t stand the 49ers. Go red birds!!!

  16. By Eazy E on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    But they’re awfully tough!!!!

  17. By AzMofasa on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Personally I will be rooting for one of the two AFC teams to win it all

  18. By LadyBird04 on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Is there any way for both of them to LOSE?

    As a Card fan, it hurts to see our rivals in the Championship round – but just shows how tough our division really is. I looked at the SOS listed on ESPN and NONE of the playoff teams had a harder SOS than the Cards.

    Hope we keep all our coaches and also the majority of our team so we can improve again next year so we will be in the Championship round and Superbowl in OUR stadium.

  19. By clssylssy on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    PLAYOFFS BABY!!!….Actually, I don’t think the Hawks have been quite as good since we beat them and haven’t proven to be the road team the 9ers are. Certainly, we own a bit of their swagger:) We created a blueprint for beating Seattle at home which I’m sure Jim Harbaugh hasn’t missed but gotta give the Seahawks marketing department their props for making a phenomenon of the “12th man”. Perhaps the birdgang should take a page from their playbook. Looking forward to this week and have a feeling the 9ers are poised to win out and have the best chance of beating the Patriots (Broncos for sure). I’m really proud of the NFC West, knowing we’re right up there with the best teams in the league and glad to see a return to the ground and pound game we all love. Hoping to see my boy Quan get another ring but can’t argue with the beastmode either! THE WEST IS THE BEST!!!

  20. By 'Zona Fan on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Screw Seattle and San Francisco, they both can go suck dirt! The way the 49ers acted against the Panthers, they deserve to be punched in the mouth by the Seahawks next week. Kaepernick mocking Cam Newton, calling a fake punt with the game over, Boldin not getting flagged for head-butting? Seriously?? What a bunch of punks!! Can’t wait until next year when we can wipe the floor with those clowns.

  21. By don2074978 on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    We should root for either NFC West team to win the superbowl. Look at how the Ravens did this year

  22. By Chris B on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    I hope one of the NFCW teams wins it all. Then, like always, their talent will be pilfered and will leave them a little less dominant. Then, in no less than 2 years, both teams will have to pay their QBs who are both being paid pennies on the dollar right now. When you pay your QB, you can’t keep a lot of other talent (see Ravens, Baltimore).

    They’ll still be good, but not always as dominant.

  23. By clssylssy on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Sorry your argument doesn’t hold up when you look at repeat Champs like the Patriots, Broncos, Packers, KC., etc. In business, you gotta spend money to make money. This is the entertainment industry and if you want big box office you gotta have marquis stars…not a bunch of struggling nonames. Even after all the injuries and other issues, the Patriots were still able to go out and find replacement talent to get the job done and still pay Brady. The 9ers have figured out a way to pay their players well while operating within a cap and being a profitable enterprise. And, players WANT to be a part of that organization as well as coaches and support staff because it’s good for their careers. This hasn’t happened overnight. The Cards are a work in progress but most of the fans here are from somewhere else and act like impatient children wanting IMMEDIATE gratification and are not willing to stick with anything when things get bumpy. We can learn a lot from our brother teams here in the NFC West if we aren’t too arrogant. It would seem like we have the opportunity open to us and it will depend on what we do with it. Being third in the NFC West still makes us a better team that other teams in the playoffs and gives us the opportunity to practice against the best opponents twice a year! I, for one, don’t want any shortcuts or to be given any slack and believe we’re on our way….PLAYOFFS BABY…LUV’N MY NFC WEST TEAMS GROUND ‘ N POUND!

  24. By Big Ken on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    @ Wes Yeah makes that win we got in there house much sweeter, at least to me as a fan. I don’t know I’m kind of disinterested in the playoffs. There have been some good games so far, but I just can’t get into it. Cardinal withdrawls I guess.

  25. By Travis on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    i know the cliche is to root for your division, but that is awfully tough.

    Did anyone notice Q’s attitude during their game this weekend? He sure was fired up! He could’ve gotten a couple unsportsmanlike calls. When he went and calmed Harbaugh down I fell out of my chair laughing!


  26. By Dr. G. on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Some mentioned humorous things here…. I could not hold back when I saw 49er #11 Patton get into a brief pushing match with a Panther LB. After a couple shoves, it looked like the Panther LB gave a semi shove to conclude the encounter and Patton was launched back about 5 yards landing on his back. It took little effort. He quickly got up and probably said: “Holy s – – t” …I could not stop laughing for a while…. No flag on this one… just having a little tryst…

  27. By Big Ken on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Anquan looks like he’s getting heavy, thick. Time to retire. Stay out of those SF restaurants.

  28. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    On Q –
    I got to agree with Troy Aikman that Q was getting on everyones nerves with his constant showboating and talking. You would think he learned something from Larry about how to throw the ball back to the ref and celebrate with teammates instead of the constant trash talk and jesters and head butts. Watching #81 for the niners gave me a flashback when TO wore #81. Great game but what an annoying game.

    Then afterwards, he said the panthers guys were doing stupid things and you just cant do stupid things to hurt your team. Hmmm – roll the tape Anquan. You should have been flagged for your headbutt inside the 10 yard line in which you team scored a TD. Not sure if the score the TD if the refs properly throw the flag.

    I think Q is one of those guys who when on your team, you love him but on another team, you see his childish antics and become annoyed.

  29. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Dr G,

    Who knew about those QBs ? Everyone.

    In the 2012 draft, Mike Mayock was telling everyone that after RG3 and Luck, Wilson was the best QB in the draft. Teams passed on him because of his height. Lets face it, you have Drew Brees and….. no one who is little and successful.

    As for Kaep, even posters on this board in 2011 were yelling for either Dalton or Kaepernick in the second round. Unfortunately, they were gone before the cards wasted their pick on Ryan Williams.

    After Derek Anderson’s horrible year and the division being won with a 7-9 record in 2010, the first team to get a QB would win. With Alex Smith and the Kaep, the niners jumped out, then Seattle rose when they took Wilson.

    Everyone was in the same boat in 2010.
    That is what is most disappointing is Graves and Whiz thinking Anderson in 2010 and Kolb was the answers. But in 2012, when you knew you have no QB and you decide not to draft one and go with the same garbage that gave you horrible results, well that gets you fired.

    Thank God, Arians brought in Palmer, who posted the best cardinal record (tied) since coming to the valley. I trust he will know if there is a raw QB worth taking a look since the best QB (Bortles) will be gone. If not, take a look next year.

  30. By Dr. G. on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Draft Guy – By – Who knew? I meant – Who knew these 2 would be simply stellar. It is easy to go back and be an armchair QB, so to speak… I know that you know the Cards would have traded up if they knew this current story line. Hind sight is 20-20, huh? Montana was #82 in the draft…Who knew he would be one of the very best in history… If so, he would have gone #1…huh?

    Smith was probably on their radar last season, but KC grabbed him quickly. There is so much to go back over….Ryan Lindley? Why is he on the roster? The practice squad needs to have guys for daily work….

    Do some homework and comment on McCarran… I think you would conclude an early 2nd round pick is justifiable…. OT is a serious need, but we need a long-term ignition key…. Be well….

  31. By johnnybluenose on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    @John The Draft Guy….could not agree more about Boldin. I don’t remember him being so demonstrative as a Cardinal. He is a tremendous player who always seems to play his best games in the most meaningful games but, in my opinion, he is embarrassing himself with his antics and chest pounding. Obviously he did not learn enough from Fitzgerald during his time as a Cardinal.

  32. By Darren Urban on Jan 14, 2014 | Reply

    Johnnyblue, JTDG —

    RE: Boldin

    Honestly, I think you guys are romanticizing Boldin. He was always a big trash-talker — especially when the other guy would chirp at him first,

  33. By Scott H on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    It’s a lousy choice to have to make but I’m gonna root for SF this week simply because of Anquan Boldin. I wish he would have stayed in Arizona longer, but…he remains one of my favorite players of all time regardless of what team he plays for. It is amazing to see him continue to play at such a high level at this point in his career. And look at the overall impact he has, which goes SOOOO far beyond any of his stats. Last year, I honestly don’t think the Ravens go to OR win that SB without him. I’ve heard the same opinion expressed elsewhere. And this year? I think he has had the same exact impact on the 49ers. Yes, they were a great team already. But when you consider that they had to play without Crabtree and Manningham for most of the year….without Boldin, who else was Kaepernick going to throw to??? Bolfin was the ONE WR they were able to count on ALL YEAR. He made the plays when they had no one else. He continues to make the plays with all of their weapons back in the arsenal. He just makes plays no matter what. He’s not Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant or Brandon Marshall. But ya know what? He might be more valuable overall than any of those guys.

    Despite how the Cardinals re-bounded this season and how bright the future may look, Anquan Boldin was a loss that left a void that has never been truly filled. And I still love to watch him play. He is JUST the type of WR that can go up against these over-rated Seattle DB’s and give them all they want.

    So, come Sunday, I’m hoping to see a 49ers win and Boldin helping drive them there.

  34. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply

    Just retweeted that Darren.

  35. By ored on Jan 13, 2014 | Reply


    you’re right on,kaep was flashing when he showed off his cannon and foot speed,only question was small school competition,carroll dug deep and talked to coaches of fran t. at minnesota to compare him with wilson,thereby having a working model to judge by and the risk was warranted.i think there are a couple of sleepers this year,maybe not that caliber but still starters,personally i like t.boyd,while not exactly a sleeper or small school player,i think he has good upside and probably not as much risk.

    i think it might be time to also look at trading stanton,let him have his try at starting somewhere,we save the cap space and if we draft a qb. we have depth.palmer has proven durable and our o-line should be better this year,i have questions about lindley,we kept him over hoyer,who has proven to have some skill before his injury…why,what did they see besides saving a few bucks,his first chance,coming from a small school and getting thrown into the fire with a pityful line was not fair to judge him by,probably worse than the houston scenario of a few years ago,does he have any real potential…i suppose we’ll get an answer in camp and preseason.

    but with the way keim wheels and deals,returning injured players FA,and the draft,we look to be pretty deep,should be looking at a couple more real game changer,even if it means trading up,something we don’t do very often,and probably with good reason…need to be very sure of the value you’re getting,gamble and you’re wrong,you set the team back…sort of like levi,although if we kept him at rt.tackle i think it would’ve worked ok.but look at the value some teams got last year,even in the 1st round.we could do real good at a truly dominant rb,pass rusher,difference maker at safety to pair with tyrann or cb to pair with peterson,someone with docket like potential for the nezt year,speed reciever,or a tight end the competition has to game plan for.

  36. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 14, 2014 | Reply


    Agree he always was a talker. That’s why I was saying, if he is on your team, you love his play, his fire, ect. If he is not on your team, you see his childish antics.

    you saw it out of Jimmy Graham this year too. For saint fans, he could do no wrong, but watch him. Every catch, every touchdown, he looks for an opposing player to say look at me, and taunt them.

    Boldin’s been to 2 superbowls, won one, and like scott H said, he is their MVP on offense. But my goodness, do you really have to jump up and talk trash and get in the CBs grill every pass you catch?

    Just getting old.

  37. By 'Zona Fan on Jan 14, 2014 | Reply

    Boldin appears to be a much bigger trash talker now than he was when he played for the Cardinals. Just shut up and play the game, Q! I loved him when he played for us, but he seems to have turned into a self-absorbed punk now. I’m glad we got Mike Floyd now, I’d take him over Q any day. And as far as who to root for in the NFC Championship, there’s only ONE team that matters in the NFL – the Cardinals! Can’t root for either of these mouthy, arrogant, self-absorbed NFC West rivals in this game. Wish they could both lose.

  38. By Dr. G. on Jan 14, 2014 | Reply

    Trash talk…. I hope Kaep is not Boldin’s new inspiration…. But after all, this is a kids game, isn’t it? A little enthusiasm is appropriate, but there was a need for the rules to limit it…… G’day…

  39. By Scott H on Jan 14, 2014 | Reply

    Kinda sad to see Cardinals fans now looking at Q as a trash talker and a dirty player. Boldin lets his PLAYING do the talking, first and foremost. And he’s still playing pretty damn well. One man’s opinion, but I love the guy as much today as I ever did. I like that he gets into it a bit with opposing players. Like Darren said, that was ALWAYS part of his game, even when he was here. It’s not like he’s become TO or Chad Johnson, with all the ridiculous end-zone celebrations and side-line antics. Boldin is just a tough guy, pure and simple. He’s like a WR that plays with the personality of a linebacker.

    And ya know what? In football – as in hockey – some guys are able to instigate and antagonize and get away with it, for whatever reason. Kinda like a Chris Pronger. He can antagonize the hell out of people but he was also one of the best players in the game for a long time. And, yes – when he played for you, you LOVED him. When he didn’t, you hated him.

    Boldin? I’ll always love the guy.

  40. By clssylssy on Jan 15, 2014 | Reply

    Boldin the trash talker…LOL! Guess his play speaks for itself on the field and afterall, this is the entertainment industry and like the WWF, fans want a little drama and show. Nice guys finish last in the NFL, are dismissed by fans as “aging divas” if they aren’t in your face and grabbing the cameras every minute.. Just look how being a good guy has worked out for Fitz…fans are ready to throw him under the bus! Or, maybe it’s just the Cardinals fanbase, as you don’t see this a lot in other franchises. Get a clue folks, trash talk is what the media wants and the media drives professional football. If you are a “purest” and don’t like it, stick to watching college football, these guys are paid to be entertainers!

  41. By Donovan on Jan 16, 2014 | Reply

    I’m with ya cards fans I hope they both lose this weekend 49ers cuz they dominated nfc west since the start, and only got boldin cuz his brother felt sorry for being the better coach with better talent so he hooks up lil cry baby bro, and seahawks cuz basicly their whole team took PED’s, bunch of cheating pansies. We lost twice to 49ers so its more justified to hope they go to the super bowl as then I root for them to fall, but this weekend i’ll be the best cards fan as I won’t even watch the nfc side of things!!!!

    Go Cards 2014
    2015 sb our dome!!! is on!!!

    When we getting OURS???? Lombardi!!!!

  42. By Jacob on Jan 16, 2014 | Reply

    if the 9ers beat seattle the second time we would’ve stood a better chance to make the playoffs, but either way, we played a hell of a season.

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