How the NFC West Was Won Week 7: Rams flatten Cardinals
If you’re an Arizona Cardinals fan who had some doubt as to how good the Los Angeles Rams, under first-year head coach Sean McVay, actually are, that doubt is likely now gone.
The Rams absolutely smashed the Cardinals in London to move their record to 5-2 on the season heading into the bye week.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks won again and the 49ers’ streak of close losses came to a resounding end against Dallas.
Here’s a closer look at what went down in the NFC West this week…
Los Angeles Rams 33, Arizona Cardinals 0
Sean McVay’s team ran all over the Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium in London Sunday to stay in first place in the NFC West. The Rams kept the ball for nearly 40 minutes in pitching their first since the 2014 season.
Jared Goff threw for a touchdown and ran for another while Todd Gurley rumbled for 106 yards and a score in the one-sided affair. The Cardinals moved the ball well on their first drive, but Phil Dawson missed a 32-yard field goal, squandering the team’s only real scoring chance in the game. Arizona mustered only 116 yards on nine possessions the rest of the way — and only 43 yards in the second half.
To make matters worse, Carson Palmer was knocked out of the game when he was hit by blitzing L.A. linebacker Alec Ogletree. Palmer suffered a broken arm and is likely out for the rest of the season.
Stat of the Game: The Rams dominated time of possession by doing an excellent job on third down. Los Angeles converted 13-of-19 third down opportunities, including eight in a row to end the game. The Rams’ average distance needed on their 13 conversions was 6.4 yards. They averaged 12.2 yards on those plays.
He Said It (Arizona): “Biggest problem, defensively, is getting off the field on third down. It’s become a problem.” — Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians
He Said It (Los Angeles): “I thought all three phases did a great job and that was the challenge to our guys — let’s see if we can put a complete game together.” — Rams head coach Sean McVay
What’s Next: Both teams will be on a bye in Week 8.
Seattle Seahawks 24, New York Giants 7
Despite the Giants’ lack of offense, they led 7-3 at the half. Wilson gave the Seahawks their first lead when he hit Doug Baldwin on a 22-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. In the fourth, Wilson hooked up with Paul Richardson on a pretty 38-yard scoring strike and then closed out just before the two-minute warning with another TD pass to Jimmy Graham.
Stat of the Game: The Giants got 73 percent of their total offense in the fourth quarter, but failed to score a point. New York had only 85 yards through three quarters.
He Said It: “We came out here to win a ball game and try to play some good football, it just took us awhile to put it all together. I really like the way our guys hung together when we were kind of kicking ourselves around in the first half.” — Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll
What’s Next: Seattle returns home to host the Houston Texans at CenturyLink Field Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys 40, San Francisco 49ers 10
Ezekiel Elliott ran for touchdowns on Dallas’ first two possessions, setting the tone for an easy Cowboys’ win.
Trailing 14-0, San Francisco got on the board when Robbie Gould connected on a 42-yard field goal. Then the Cowboys reeled off 26 straight points, including three touchdown passes from Dak Prescott. Elliott was the recipient of one of those scoring passes — a 72-yard connection in the third quarter.
San Francisco got a late touchdown from quarterback C.J. Beathard to make the score look a little more respectable. Beathard, who was making his first pro start, finished 22-of-37 for 235 yards, but was sacked five times and lost two fumbles in the contest.
Stat of the Game: The 49ers had no answer for Elliott, who had 219 total yards in addition to his three end zone visits.
He Said It: “No, not right now.” — 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, when asked if he’s able to glean any positives from his team’s most recent loss.
What’s Next: The 49ers travel to Philadelphia to take on the NFC East-leading Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
Offensive Player of the Week: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks – Wilson completed 27-of-39 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns against the Giants. He was sacked only once, despite being under pressure for a good portion of the game and completed passes to 11 different receivers.
Defensive Player of the Week: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams – Donald had two tackles (both for losses), a sack and a two quarterback hits in the Rams’ shutout win over the Cardinals.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Greg Zuerlein, K, Los Angeles Rams – Greg “The Leg” continued his stellar 2017 season with four more field goals, including a 53-yarder. He leads the NFL with 21 made field goals and is a perfect 21-for-21 on extra points.
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