Going into week one, all three NFC West teams were undefeated. A week later, there were three with wins and one with a loss. Another week later, there are three teams with two wins and just one team split with one win and a loss. All four teams had quality performances in week two, however, and we’ll see if they can all keep it up in week three.
In week two, Seattle took New England to the wire and claimed a literal last-second victory, stopping Patriots QB Cam Newton on the goal line as the last precious seconds ticked away to preserve a five-point win. Russell Wilson was electric in the passing game once again and looks primed to go on an MVP campaign this season.
Arizona dueled with the Washington Football Team, and what could have been a close contest was 20-0 at halftime in favor of the home team Cardinals. Washington did score some in the second half, but Arizona dispatched their visitors with a balanced attack and scored double what Washington did in a 30-15 victory.
The Rams flew to the east coast and were the better team on Sunday morning in Philadelphia, as LA QB Jared Goff (#1 selection in 2016) dueled with Eagles QB Carson Wentz (#2 selection in 2016) and came away with a lopsided 37-19 victory. The Rams scored on the ground and through the air, and the Eagles had no answer for them. After an up and down game against Dallas in week one, this was more of the Rams we were expecting going into a rebranding in 2020.
The 49ers also flew to the far east coast, landing in New Jersey for a game for the undermanned Jets. It was ugly early, late, and everything in between as the 49ers cruised to a 31-13 victory. They did lose two key defenders for the season and may have lost at least two key running backs for the next couple of weeks at least. They get another game this Sunday on the same field that they think was the reason behind four count them four players leaving with knee injuries, so we’ll see if they have the bravery to go back to MetLife Stadium and come away with another victory without suffering so many losses.
So what can we expect in week three?
Seattle Vs Dallas – Sunday 1:25pm
If you knew what to expect from the Seahawks’ first two opponents, well, you might be the only one. In week one they faced a revamped Falcons team on the road in Atlanta, only to blow the doors off the stadium lighting up the scoreboard in a 38-25 win that was never as close as the score indicated. Then in week two, they matched the Patriots blow for blow, winning a close one that was probably closer than most anticipated. Russell Wilson’s passing mastery was on display in both games, and he will have a depleted Dallas secondary to attack this Sunday. Dallas looked overmatched in a week one loss while visiting the Rams, then looked ready to be blown out against Atlanta in week two (they narrowly escaped with an unlikely victory). Now they come to Centurylink Field with their eye on defeating the high-flying Seahawks. While Dallas has a quality running game and is still working out the kinks in their new look passing attack, Seattle has well-defined playmakers in both phases, but their defense that was already lacking a consistent pass rush is now down another key player, and their secondary is getting thin as well. While they might get more of a challenge from Dallas than they normally would, I expect them to take care of business and go into week four with a 3-0 record.
Arizona Vs Detroit Sunday – 1:25 pm
The Cardinals host the reeling 0-2 Lions this weekend, and it may not be close. In back-to-back weeks the Lions looked like the better team in the first half against the Bears and Packers, only to lose a nailbiter to the Bears, and then let Green Bay mount a huge lead in the second half. Will they bring a complete game to Arizona? We’ll see. The Cardinals went into San Francisco in week one and came away with a late victory (and will be the only team to face a fully healthy SF team so far this season), then hosted Washington last week and made the visitors look like they needed more practice. QB Kyler Murray is a great dual threat, and his favorite target DeAndre Hopkins makes defenses have to focus on him and that opens things up for the rest of the offense. With Detroit already looking for playmakers on both sides of the ball, I don’t think this is one they can or will win. It will probably be hard fought in the first half because Detroit likes to be aggressive early, but I expect Arizona to get the win even in a tight contest and go to week four with a 3-0 record.
Los Angeles at Buffalo – Sunday 10 am
The Rams get another east-coast game, and another early-morning time slot. They are up against the Bills, who are trying to improve their image away from a team that starts hot and finishes as cold as an East Rutherford winters. QB Josh Allen has figured out how to throw a football to a player on the same planet he is on, and that is not good news for anyone outside of Buffalo. Allen is built like a tight end, has a cannon for an arm, and can run as well. He’s the ultimate triple threat, and the rest of the league has taken notice. Rams QB Jared Goff is more the prototypical QB, tall and lanky with a big arm, but you don’t want him running or taking too many hits. Goff is better as a point guard, Allen is better as a freight train that can fire missiles. This will probably be a better game than most would expect given the look of the high scoring Rams vs the methodical Bills, but it’s always fun to see a battle of strength vs strength. Whoever wins this one will stay at the top of their division, while the other will be looking for answers in week four. I think the Rams will give the Bills a really good game, but I think the home team will win this one and the Rams will be 2-1.
San Francisco at New York Giants – Sunday 10 am
A week ago, the 49ers offense had Jimmy Garopplo, Raheem Mostert, and Tevin Coleman. This week, they have Nick Mullens (if Jimmy G can’t play), Jerick McKinnon, and Jeff Wilson. If you haven’t heard of Jeff Wilson before now, well, that’s not good – and it means the 49ers are in trouble. The defense also had Nick Bosa and Soloman Thomas, both who were lost for the season. Mostert is week to week with a MCLsprain, and Coleman is out indefinitely with a knee sprain. TE George Kittle went down with a knee issue in week one, didn’t play in week two, and is up in the air to play this week. Whether Kittle is active or not, expect to see Jordan Reed on the field at least part of the time.
Their opponent is hurting as well, as the Giants lost star RB Saquon Barkley to a torn ACL last week, and he’s out for the season, and placed receiver Sterling Sherphard on injured reserve. They signed former Falcons RB Devonta Freeman this week (who previously played with 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and Coleman in Atlanta) and we’ll see if Freeman is given some playing time in his first game with the Giants. Neither team has looked great through two weeks, and if this comes down to Mullens and McKinnon vs Daniel Jones and Freeman, we could be in for a snooze fest. The Giants are 0-2 after losses to Pittsburgh and Chicago and may want this win just a little bit more. But neither team has much to offer on either side of the ball right now, so it will be anyone’s guess as to who can perform after a brutal second week of the season that likely destroyed any chances they had at competing in their conference or even their division. I’m not sure how this one is going to go, but I think the 49ers have more of a limp than the Giants do at this point and may not have the playmakers on hand to put up enough points to win even a low-scoring contest. Look for the Giants to win close with something like 17-14 and both teams to enter week four with matching 1-2 records.