How the NFC West Was Won Week 12: Cardinals, Seahawks, Rams all win

Nov 27, 2017, 9:23 AM | Updated: 3:57 pm
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In Week 12 of the NFL season, nobody could find any separation in the NFC West standings.

The Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams all landed in the win column, keeping things status quo for another week in the division.

Here’s a closer look at what went down this week in the NFC West.

Arizona Cardinals 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 24

Just when you thought the Cardinals were circling the drain, they turn in easily their most impressive win of the season by beating Jacksonville, who entered the contest with a four-game winning streak.

Arizona jumped on the Jags early, getting two field goals from Phil Dawson and a 29-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to Ricky Seals-Jones for a 13-0 lead.

Jacksonville would get points before halftime when Josh Lambo connected on a 43-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the second quarter.

Dawson booted another field goal to stretch the lead back to 13, and that’s when Jacksonville got going. Blake Bortles capped a 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Then early in the fourth, Calais Campbell, in his first game back in Arizona after a decade with the Cardinals, scooped up a Gabbert fumble and rumbled 10 yards for a touchdown to give Jacksonville his first lead.

But the Cardinals, who have repeatedly been accused by their own head coach of not responding well to adversity, bounced right back when Gabbert hit Jaron Brown on a 52-yard touchdown pass with just over nine minutes to play to put the Cardinals back up by a touchdown.

Following a 68-yard kickoff return by Corey Grant, Jacksonville was in business. Bortles completed passes on the first three plays of the possession, then did the honors himself on a 17-yard touchdown run that tied the game again.

Adversity was again present. This time, it bit the Cardinals. A second-down pass by Gabbert was picked off by Barry Church at the Jacksonville 42-yard line with 3:38 left. Four plays later, Tyrann Mathieu got the ball back, picking off Bortles inside the Cardinals’ 40.

It looked like the game was headed to overtime, but Gabbert navigated Arizona into field goal range, and Dawson booted a 57-yard field goal (a career-long) to seal it for Arizona.

Stat of the Game: The Cardinals defense, which struggled in a Week 11 loss to Houston, held Leonard Fournette to a season-low 25 rushing yards on 12 carries.

He Said It: “Don’t bury us quite yet.” — Arizona head coach Bruce Arians.

What’s Next: The Cardinals are home for the second of three straight games at University of Phoenix Stadium when they host the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams.

Los Angeles Rams 26, New Orleans Saints 20

The New Orleans Saints got to southern California with an eight-game winning streak intact.

The left with a loss, as Jared Goff threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ win.

Goff got things started off early, hitting Sammy Watkins on a 5-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening possession. Greg Zuerlein stretched the lead to 10 with a 50-yard field goal and it looked like the Rams might cruise.

The Saints responded quickly on Alvin Kamara’s 74-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Goff struck again, hitting Josh Reynolds on a 7-yard scoring strike.

From that point, the teams would trade field goals deep into the fourth. Will Lutz of the Saints had two, Zuerlein hit three, and the Rams led 26-13 nearing the two-minute warning. Drew Brees marched the Saints down the field and hit Kamara on a 15-yard touchdown pass to make it a six-point game with 1:45 left.

But with no timeouts remaining, New Orleans had to try an onside kick, and Watkins recovered, giving the Rams the ball and the win.

Stat of the Game: Goff’s 354 yards were one off his career-high, set in a Week 10 win over Houston. In the Rams’ last three games, Goff has completed 67-of-102 passes for 1,020 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception.

He Said It: “After a tough, humbling loss against Minnesota, I love the way our guys responded this week with a week of preparation.” — Rams head coach Sean McVay

What’s Next: A trip to the desert to face the Cardinals in Glendale on Sunday.

Seattle Seahawks 24, San Francisco 49ers 13

Russell Wilson didn’t have his best game, but he did more than enough to propel the Seahawks to a win on the road in Santa Clara.

The Seattle quarterback ran for a score and threw two touchdown passes while the Seahawks’ defense put the clamps on San Francisco for their eighth straight victory in the rivalry.

After a scoreless first quarter, Seattle’s defense created the first scoring opportunity of the game, when Bobby Wagner picked off a C.J. Beathard pass at the 49ers’ 16-yard line. Wilson cashed in two plays later on a 2-yard touchdown run.

San Francisco would close the gap with two field goals from Robbie Gould and early in the third quarter, the Seahawks’ lead was just a point.

That’s when Wilson took over. He hit Nick Vannett on a 17-yard touchdown pass to put Seattle up 14-6. On the first play of the fourth quarter, he capped a 63-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham. Blair Walsh would add a fourth-quarter field goal to put the game out of reach for Seattle.

The only intrigue left came with just over a minute to play when Beathard left the game with an injury and newly-acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was pressed into to his first duty as a 49er. Garoppolo completed both of his pass attempts, including a 10-yard touchdown to Louis Murphy on the game’s final play to make things look a little more respectable.

Stat of the Game: Wilson wasn’t sacked Sunday, marking the first time in 2017 he hasn’t been.

He Said It (Seattle): “He’s an incredible player. He did not practice this week. He was able to only work out with the trainers a little bit and to come through and have another big game with the play of the game for the defense, that’s just the way he’s been doing it.” — Seattle coach Pete Carroll on Bobby Wagner

He Said It (San Francisco): “We just have to get better in all phases of the game.” — 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard

What’s Next: The 49ers hit the road to take on the Bears while the Seahawks will host the NFC’s top team, the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night at CenturyLink Field.

Award Winners

Offensive Player of the Week: Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams – Goff continued his stellar sophomore season with 354 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Saints.

Defensive Player of the Week: Chandler Jones, OLB, Arizona Cardinals – Seattle’s Bobby Wagner was great, but Jones was a wrecking ball against Jacksonville with six tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks and a pass defensed.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Phil Dawson, K, Arizona Cardinals – Dawson hit four field goals, including a career-long 57-yarder with one second left to give the Cardinals a win.


Team Wins Losses Ties Points For Points Against
8 3 0 329 206
7 4 0 266 212
5 6 0 203 278
1 10 0 187 284

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