Wild NFC West Week 7 – Seahawks Trending Up, 49ers and Cards Trending Down, Rams In Trouble?

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Before we talk about anything else, I would like to take a moment to honor the Seattle Seahawks’ fallen owner, Paul Allen. While not everyone counts themselves among his fanbases (Seahawks, Blazers, and Sounders), the NW and Seattle native definitely made a positive mark on the sports world and spent billions of his own money to enhance the lives of those in the communities he loved. He breathed life into the sports worlds of Portland and Seattle, offered hope to those in need of help with terminal illnesses through his charitable works, and made sure the local art scenes didn’t go unnoticed either. This wasn’t a guy who felt comfortable showing off his money by buying up sports franchises and counting his cash until his last day. Allen certainly lived well, but he made sure others lived and lived well also. This was a guy who cared, and if you think the sports world was the part of the world to lose his impact, you didn’t know Paul.

Microsoft made Allen rich, sports kept him rich well after, and he used that success to make sure the rest of us had access to some advantages we would otherwise lack. His death sucks, but his life will be celebrated for a long time to come, especially by those of us who have lived in the NW and saw how generously he used his assets to improve the lives of those around him. Thanks for all that you did for us, Paul. We will try to keep it going in your absence.

Allen fought off cancer twice in his relatively young life, before it claimed him earlier this month at the age of 65. To honor victims like Mr. Allen and to further research and treatment, please consider donating to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.

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They may not have noticed it at the time, but the Seahawks got one last big win for Paul, and they get this week off to mourn. After that, you had better expect to see some “PA” patches on their jerseys the rest of the season. It’s the least they can do for a guy who gave them so much. Seattle travelled to London to take on the Raiders on October 14, and Allen passed away before they could return home. Once they get back on the schedule, they will be travelling to Detroit to face the Lions. The Portland Trail Blazers kick off their season tonight, and if they have not already, any win will be dedicated to their beloved owner’s memory.

Despite the sad news of their owner passing, the Seahawks gave their fans plenty to celebrate in their international showdown, beating the Raiders to the tune of 27-3. Truth be told, the game was even more lopsided than the score might indicate.

The offense soared to two early touchdowns, and the running game got going from there. The defense harassed a poorly protected Derek Carr for the entire game, and the pass rush was so fired up I’m not sure you can blame the whole mess on the two rookie tackles. A week after a poorly timed time out cost them a potential win over the league-leading Rams, one might expect Seattle to be too drained and jet lagged to win a game across the pond, but they were more than ready for a tune up game, and couldn’t be riding any higher going in to their bye-week.

The division-, conference-, and league-leading Rams travelled to Denver last week, and while they came away with a win, it wasn’t as convincing as it could have been and they lost one of their best weapons for at least a week. Cooper Kupp was the victim of an extremely illegal horse collar tackle and was thought to be lost for the season, only to return after halftime to play sparingly. He is out again this week with an injured knee, and we will see how legit his ability to play will be going forward.

At 6-0, you would think the LA Rams would be exempt from talking heads such as myself second guessing their chances to keep on winning. And that’s where you would be wrong!

While they are inarguably undefeated, and of course one of the best three teams in the league, they have some big questions looming as they bite into the meat of their schedule and see how much they can chew. This week is pretty much a “gimme,” but their next four games leading up to their week 12 bye will show us how great they really are. After visiting the listless but somehow competitive 49ers this week, they host the Packers fresh off their own bye week, then travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints, host the Seahawks, and then host the Chiefs in Mexico.

The 49ers have proven they can compete without their lost field general Jimmy G, but they haven’t proven they can win yet. If they upset the Rams this week, it will add a chapter to the growing legend of second-year passer CJ Beathard. TJ Miller’s stunt double performed admirably on the road in Green Bay on Monday night, but his defense could only contain future HOF QB Aaron Rodgers for most of the game, and accidentally let him loose in the final minutes as Mason Crosby kicked the game winning field goal as time expired. The showdown with KC seems like a long time ago, and this is definitely not the same team. But they are fighting hard, and that’s more than you could say for them this time last year.

Arizona went to Minnesota last week and nearly came away with a win. If only their offense could perform as well as their defense, they might actually have something. The good news is that they draw Denver this week, and on a short week no less. The Broncos find themselves in a free fall after a promising if not misleading start.  Case Keenum has yet to replicate his play from last season, and the amount of times the offense fizzles is not allowing the defense to sizzle. They should go back to a power running game and control the clock, and give the defense an opportunity to play with fire instead of trying to help the offense close the gap so much. Watch some film of the 2015 team and take a page or two from their playbook. Arizona could win a close one at home, and since they switched QBs to allow Josh Rosen to start, they have been competitive in each game and have one win, while neither statement was true with Sam Bradford under center.

With the Seahawks taking the week off and both division games…let’s call them less than stellar…it might be a quiet week in the wild NFC West. But as long as the Rams win and the 49ers and Cardinals are competitive, it could go a long way in recovering some respect this division has lost in the last few weeks.

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About Author

Casey Mabbott

Casey Mabbott is a writer and podcast host born and raised in West Philadelphia where he spent most of his days on the basketball court perfecting his million dollar jumpshot. Wait, no, that’s all wrong. Casey has spent his entire life here in the Pacific NorthWest other than his one year stint as mayor of Hill Valley in an alternate reality 1985. He’s never been to Philadelphia, and his closest friends will tell you that his jumpshot is the farthest thing from being worth a million bucks. Casey enjoys all sports and covering them with written words or spoken rants. He has made an art of movie references, and is a devout follower of 80's movies and music. I don't know why you would to, but you can probably find him on the street corner waiting for the trolley to take him to the stadium or his favorite pub, where he will be telling people the answers to questions they don’t remember asking. And it only goes downhill from there if he drinks. He’s a real treat.

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