Sports Snort: the final drive toward the 7-9 NFC West Championship

Okay, Sports Fans!  Another week, and we have further clarification on that NFC West race I’ve been following with some glee.  First, a look at how the four teams fared last week.  The good news, for the hopes and dreams of the 7-9 Playoff Team (and Division Champion), is that they were all playing games against teams outside their division, and thus… all lost.

The Arizona Cardinals were officially elimated from the playoffs after losing 19-12 to the team with the worst record in the league, the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina 19 , Arizona 12

You know it’s going super bad for the Arizona Cardinals this season when the network studio crew covers its eyes and ears and doesn’t even want to discuss their game Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

And that was at halftime.

“I didn’t see it,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That’s the business in the NFL. If you don’t play well, you’re going to be subject to that. Do I like it? No. Of course not. Our players don’t like it.

Seattle got thumped by the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta 34 Seattle 18
And this spurred a genuine “Quarterback Controversy”.

On Seattle’s first offensive play of the second half, Hasselbeck failed to get rid of the ball in his end zone, was sacked by Jamaal Anderson and fumbled. At the bottom of the pile was Babineaux, and the score gave the Falcons a 24-10 lead.
Hasselbeck followed with interceptions on Seattle’s next two series’ and was eventually replaced by Charlie Whitehurst. Hasselbeck now has 13 turnovers — 10 interceptions and three fumbles — in Seattle’s last four games. […]
Seattle was nearly perfect on its opening drive in taking a 7-0 lead on Marshawn Lynch’s 1-yard plunge and from there did little right. Hasselbeck followed up his costly end zone mistake by throwing interceptions on the Seahawks next two possessions, getting loudly booed.
Whitehurst was greeted with cheers from the remaining fans. The decision will only fuel speculation on what future Hasselbeck might have in Seattle — not only after this season, but next week at Tampa Bay.
The fans seemed to make their choice, chanting “Charlie” after Whitehurst scored on a 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

The San Francisco 49ers were thumped by San Diego.
San Diego 34  San Francisco 7.
“After that game, right now “… you walk away not feeling good,” quarterback Alex Smith said.

The Saint Louis Rams were smashed by Kansas City, who got their starting quarterback back from injury to stay apace in front of San Diego in their divisional race… a division race where the teams actually have to win games in order to do “stay apace in front”.
Kansa City 27 Saint Louis 13

So, let’s look at the standing.
Saint Louis Rams:  6 wins, 8 losses
Seattle Seahawks : 6 wins, 8 losses
San Francisco: 5 wins, 9 losses
Arizona: 4 wins, 10 losses.

The Race for a 7 – 9 playoff hinges off of the three meaningful games.

This Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers will play host to the Saint Louis Rams in a crucial divisional match-up.  Should the 49ers win, they will remain in the play-off hunt, and have only a Tampa Bay home victory against Seattle to gain “control of their own destiny”, for the final game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Should the Rams win…  Seattle’s game in Tampa Bay would become, for them, meaningless, and perhaps they will just go ahead and throw the game away to rest their starters, in what would have to be the most hilarious example of that in league history.   (Particularly because the league shifted the time schedule to put a game against two teams fighting for the playoffs in a key slot).   This will set up the Exciting Final game of the season, a match-up between Saint Louis and Seattle for all the marbles.  Unfortunately, St Louis will be 7-8 with a chance at an 8-8 season, but I guess that would add to the anticipation for Final Game 7-9 Heroics.

Leave a Reply