What's up with the NFC West?
Certainly not scoring, where due to a variety of factors savvy totals players have been able to cash in on under plays over the first six-plus weeks of the season. While every team in the division is at least .500 straight up, San Francisco, Arizona, Seattle and St. Louis are a combined 6-19-1 against the over. None of the four division games played so far have gone over; in fact, none have even come close to covering it.
Thursday night’s safety-gate game between the 49ers and Seahawks may have taken everyone’s attention away from the fact that in a league with rules designed to keep quarterbacks safe, happy and productive, the teams were able to put only 19 points on the board, hardly a threat to the posted and modest O/U of 37.5.
The final two-plus months of the season may sort things out a bit, but right now the division is prospering due to four outstanding defensive teams with coaches who put a premium on stopping the run, and with four quarterbacks who after their careers end will probably need to pay their way into the Hall of Fame in Canton.
Alex Smith has proven to be the best of a mediocre quarterback lot in the NFC West, ranking eighth in the league in QB rating. Arizona’s Kevin Kolb (16), Sam Bradford (21) and Russell Wilson (23) have had their moments, but the Cardinals, Rams and Seahawks are still trying to forge offensive identities.
No team has earned its spurs defensively more than Seattle, which already owns signature wins over Green Bay and New England, and in Week 2 held Dallas’s strong running game to just 49 yards on the way to a dominating victory.
The Cards are in Minnesota on Sunday, where the number is 40.5, going against a Vikings team that has gone under four of six games and would themselves be a snug fit in a division populated by teams that just can’t seem to find the end zone on a regular basis.
The Rams are home against the Packers, and the 45.5 number is the lowest for any Green Bay game this season.