Yes, you read that headline right.
And, brace yourselves - the following sentences are recaps of NFC West team achievements after two weeks of regular-season action, and contain no typos:
The Cardinals beat the New England Patriots on the road.
The Rams upset the new-look Washington Redskins.
Last week, the 49ers shocked the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
And today, the Seahawks dominated the Dallas Cowboys today at CenturyLink Field, 27-7.
We're only in Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season, but the teams in the oft-mocked NFC West have done enough in that short amount of time to force people to pay attention. The 49ers were clearly the best team in the division last year, with the Cardinals finishing 8-8 and the Seahawks coming to within a field goal of the same record. The Rams were a mess, and were lucky to win two games.
In 2012, the 49ers still look impressive, as they've kept 11 of 12 starters on defense, and Alex Smith continues to lead the offense effectively. But the Seahawks and Cardinals have both impressed with unexpected victories today, highlighted by strong defensive showings that leave no room for so-called experts to make any excuses.
The Seahawks completely shut down Tony Romo and the Cowboys' offense today, after a first half that included a fumble recovery on the opening kickoff return, and a blocked punt return for a touchdown. The Seahawks led 10-0 after the first five minutes, and would never cede their advantage throughout the afternoon.
Granted, there was much of last week's game in the Arizona desert that Seahawk fans wish they could have back: Dropped end-zone passes that would've resulted in game-winning touchdowns, for example. But the third quarter of that game gave a glimpse of what this defense is capable of: Five three-and-outs out of six possessions (the other resulting in a punt) is nothing to scoff at, especially since the Cardinals just went to New England and shocked the country with a road win against a 14-point favorite.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Rams edged out a win against the Washington Redskins, who were led to victory by the best rookie QB start in NFL history from Robert Griffin III.
Did anyone see any of this coming?
You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who would say "yes."
Remember when the Seahawks won the division two years ago with a 7-9 record? Rest assured that record won't be winning any accolades this year; let alone lead to a playoff berth.
With today's freakishly surprising upsets from the NFC West, the division has quickly ascended from bottom-feeders and perennial underdogs to arguably the most exciting and competitive division in the National Football League.
And if the Seahawks continue to raise the bar they've set today, the potential they have will only continue to be realized.
It's refreshing to to finally see a competitive NFC West for a change. It's not the weakest dvision in football like it was when Matt Hasselbeck was under center. The West used to be so weak all we had to do was beat bad teams at home under the 12th man advantage for a guaranteed title every season. Hass could never get the job done when it counted and yet he was still popular because Seattle has never exprienced an elite quarterback yet. Perhaps Russell Wlson will surprse us...?
It's true-this is not your mama's NFC West anymore. However, it was the mama's boy division not too long ago. It will take a few more weeks to really get the attention of the east coast dominated sports media, so let the ass kicking continue.
My oh my, I just found an article on NFL.com giving praise to the NFC West. The tag line for the article is "The NFC West will take your lunch money". I love it! Here is the link
The sad thing is that pretty much the only people giving the NFC West credit are fans of the Western teams. In watching the NFL network last night with Primetime, Marshall, Michael, and the token white guy, all they could talk about in our wins is how the other teams blew it. With the Rams is was about how the Redskins just couldn't get it done. With us it was all about the Cowboys falling apart. They figured that after beating the Giants at home they would come in to Seattle for an easy win. Marshall Faulk even went as far as to say he was "disappointed to see the Cowboys sink to the Seahawks level". WTF!!!! That is just rude and disrespectful to say after we DOMINATED the Cowboys all the way from the opening kickoff. This year the Niners have some respect starting the season but still did not get much love from the folks at NFL networks. Again the storyline was about how the Lions just couldn't punch it into the end zone. Wells news flash bitches, its because the Niners have an amazing defense and the LIons don't have a running back that can punch it into the end zone past their D. You know who does have that running back though? The Seahawks! I do believe Lynch proved that last year being the ONLY running back to score a rushing TD against them.
The NFC West teams will just have to go about their business putting other teams to shame until half way through the season when they will be forced to pay attention. The talking heads of the national networks only know how to vote for whoever had a good season last year (which was not the Cowboys by the way). There is no real analysis being done in my opinion.
@marshall21 It's the exact same thing I mentioned in my post on the team's blocking in week one about John Madden never giving the Seahawks credit for anything. Every now and then a team will play poorly because they grossly misjudged a weaker opponent, but that's the exception and not the rule. For the most part when a team plays poorly it's because the other team did something that prevented them from playing well. The Cowboys' offense did not trip over its own feet, it was muzzled & tranquilized thanks to some great play design & execution on the part of the Seahawks.
And yes, the vast majority of sports journalism is intellectually lazy, poorly structured bloviating without a single minute's worth of research or analysis to back it up, and that goes triple for televised sports journalism. I know I'm really, really late sometimes finishing articles and getting them posted each week, but I refuse to throw up any old thing just to fill space. If I don't think an article is ready because it needs more research or doesn't read quite right to me or whatever, it doesn't go up.
We have the 3 most physical defenses in the NFC in SEA, AZ, & SF. & Fisher has the Rams playing as well as he can given their o-line situation. I still picked them to beat the Redskins. NFC WEST is the NFC's best, deal with it ya'll!!!