Week 11 in NFC West came with expected outcomes, but a few surprises

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Oddsmakers had the San Francisco 49’ers winning against the Arizona Cardinals. Most also expected the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Chicago Bears. Everyone knew the Seattle Seahawks would rest up and get healthy, with it being their bye week and all.

All of these things happened. Yet in all these expected outcomes, a few things stood out that were unexpected.

Let’s take a look at week 11 for the NFC West and peek into week 12.

Since the Seattle Seahawks were on their bye in week 11, I’ll start there. After beating the San Francisco 49’ers in week 10 on Monday Night Football, it was a prime time to get the bye week and rest up. The most significant thing we are waiting for more about is the injury wide receiver Tyler Lockett sustained at the end of that game. While head coach Pete Carroll said they expected him to be fine, no official word has come out.

Seattle goes into week 12 with an 8-2 record and will head to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.

Chicago Bears      7
LA Rams             17

The Los Angeles Rams were featured on Sunday Night Football this week in a game against the Chicago Bears. Now, if we had been talking about this game in 2018, it would have been the game of the week, but in 2019, things aren’t exactly going the way these teams had planned.

Both the Rams and the Bears are struggling on offense this season, keeping the game to a low scoring affair. And while both teams had under 300 yards of offense, we did see the reemergence of running back Todd Gurley. Throughout this season, Gurley had been somewhat invisible, but he definitely showed up in this game with 97 yards and a touchdown. This was quite important since quarterback Jared Goff is still struggling to find his rhythm, and that’s putting it nicely.

The Rams defense is still the star of the show in Los Angeles, with Aaron Donald having another stellar night. Donald had 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, and a handful of quarterback hits. The man is a machine, and he has great support surrounding him. The defense will have to continue their strong ways, with the Baltimore Ravens, and Lamar Jackson, coming up next week.

Cardinals    26
49’ers         36

Before this game began, with the 49’ers being 8-1 and the Cardinals being 3-6-1, one would have thought there would be no question who would win. And looking at the score, it would seem the 49’ers beat the Cardinals handily. However, this scoreline does not reflect this game in any way.

A disastrous last play by the Cardinals handed the last 6 points to the 49’ers on a silver platter, but before that, it was a back and forth match up that had both team’s fans worried. Much like their last game against each other, both teams had the chance to win at the end, but San Francisco managed to grab the prize both times.

49’ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo had a career night, throwing for 424 yards. This was mostly due to necessity as San Francisco couldn’t get the run game going for the life of them. But necessity or not, and in spite of only one throw over 20 yards, Jimmy G did exactly what he needed to do to get the win. Critics will look to the two red-zone turnovers that Garappolo threw, but overall he proved he can take the offense where they need to go to get the win.

The lack of running game was a problem, with San Francisco having just 34 yards rushing. As they did in the first game against the 49’ers, Arizona went all-in on stopping the run, and they did a great job of it. But with a few players returning from injury soon, the 49’ers should be able to get the run game back on track very soon.

The vaunted San Francisco defense had a hard time with Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and the rest of the offense in the first half but managed to adjust and slow them down in the second half. But Murray had some flashes throughout the night, proving to many that the star they saw in college can shine in the NFL. He threw for just 150 yards but also ran for 67. He seemed less rattled by the pass rush but still had a few “rookie” moments. He kept Arizona in this game, and despite the record, fans should be encouraged by him.

San Francisco’s schedule gets difficult in week 12 when they play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. As for Arizona, they will have a much-needed bye week.

If it weren’t for a few boneheaded turnovers, we would be talking up the Cardinals and questioning the 49’ers. But that is the NFC West. No matter the record, every divisional game is a fight to the end.

Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG
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