By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
The San Francisco 49ers are the lone remaining undefeated team in the NFC, and they stayed undefeated by staying home. It was the dreaded week 4 bye for the 49ers, but it worked out well for them. They headed into their week off on top of the division, and are still sitting there and the end of it.
While San Francisco didn’t have to do anything to stay in their top spot, the rest of the NFC West played what turned out to be important games in week 4. An inter-division match up in the desert between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, and what many thought would be an easy win in Los Angeles for the Rams…that turned into a slugfest.
Seattle Seahawks 27
Arizona Cardinals 10
Seattle was coming off of a loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Seahawks knew they needed a strong win to silence any doubters. We’ve all heard about the offensive woes in Arizona, and Seattle took full advantage of that both on offense and defense.
The Seahawks defense had the play of the game when new Seattle defensive end Jadeveon Clowney grabbed a one handed interception off of Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, running it back for a touchdown. But this was just the beginning of the defense taking advantage of the rookie QB. They kept the rookie QB rattled and rushed through the entire game, holding Arizona to 3 of 9 in 3rd down conversions, giving the Seattle offense plenty of time to take control of the game.
QB Russell Wilson was as sharp as a tack, as usual, marching the team down the field regularly. Wilson has 8 TDs to 0 Interceptions this season, and was 22 of 28 for 240 yards in Sunday’s game. I heard a stat yesterday that Seahawks QB Wilson has the best win percentage after a loss in the league, and he added to that stat in week 4.
However it was the return of the run game that really shined for Seattle. Running back Chris Carson, who had struggled with getting yardage and holding on the ball, regained his form from last year, rushing for 104 yards on 22 carries. RB C.J. Prosise also had a great game, including a 6 yard run for a touchdown.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 29, 2019
It wasn’t all bad news for Arizona. Linebacker Terrell Suggs looked like the future Hall of Fame player he is, getting 1.5 sacks on Wilson, getting 2.5 tackles for loss, and giving fits to the Seattle offensive line. QB Kyler Murray did manage to rack up 241 yards, however RB David Johnson ended up being their top receiver in the game. When your running back gets more passing yards than teammate, legendary wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, you have some reevaluating to do.
Speaking of Larry Fitzgerald (the most liked man in football), we’d like to say congratulations on moving into 2nd place on the Most Catches in NFL History list. I loved that the man at #1 on that list, Jerry Rice, was there to congratulate him.
Arizona travels to Cincinnati next week to face the Bengals.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 55
Los Angeles Rams 40
The Rams were coming into the game with a record of 3-0, with solid wins over the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and the Cleveland Browns. Tampa Bay on the other hand, was going into Sunday with a record of 1-2, having losses to the 49ers and the New York Giants. Many in the media thought the Rams would win this match up without much difficulty, but they seemed to forget that nothing is guaranteed in the NFL.
If we are being honest, this game was…well, it was weird. Looking at the score, you would think the defense was non existent. But defense was a huge factor. You would also think both quarterbacks were on fire. Not really, actually. Its hard to wrap your brain around, but overall, this game was a mash up of bad football and great plays.
Tampa Bay couldn’t have started this game any better than they did. At one point in the 2nd quarter, they were up 21-0, and the Rams didn’t have an answer to stop them. Eventually the Rams offense kicked in and kept the game close to the end.
But the stats don’t add up here. QB Jared Goff had an amazing 517 yards, with a QB rating of 80. Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston threw for 380 yards with a rating of 120. Both of these numbers are a direct result of the complete lack of a run game. Rams RB Todd Gurley had just 5 carries for 16 yards, but he did managed 2 touchdowns. It was a little better for the Buccaneers run game. RB Ronald Jones had 19 carries for 70 yards and a TD. Both teams had a receiver with over 150 yards receiving.
Now like I mentioned before, with offensive stats like this, one would think the defenses didn’t do anything, but truly they were very good. Both teams had 2 sacks, Tampa Bay had 3 interceptions, the Rams had 1, which cornerback Marcus Peters returned for a touchdown. It was the Tampa Bay defense, however, that won the 3rd down battle, allowing the Rams to convert just 4 of 11.
This game is near impossible to put into words, but I’ll leave you with this: Buccaneers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh sealed the game with an fumble recovery that he ran in for a touchdown. He ran 19 miles an hour. 300lb Suh…ran 19 miles an hour for the TD. I don’t even know what to say to that.
Next, the Rams head to Seattle to play the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG