With the third week of the NFL season in the books, it appears that it could be the Arizona Cardinals winning the WEST in a romp. After two consecutive appearances in the Super Bowl, one a win and the other a loss, the Seahawks may have assumed that they would experience a cake walk into their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, but something happened early on their way to San Francisco, where Super Bowl 50 will be played.
First the St. Louis Rams and then their archrivals, the Green Bay Packers, helped to deal them a 0-2 start. So game three against the Chicago Bears was now obviously a must win and the Seahawks ultimately did come through.
The Seahawks disappointed their fans in the early going with a lackluster performance that led to a cascade of boos not often heard at CenturyLink Field.
However, the Seahawks special teams stepped up and delivered a second-half kickoff return of 105 yards for a score and, in a trick play, Richard Sherman returned a punt 64 yards that set up a field goal.
Tyler Lockett executed the kickoff return. It was his second touchdown return of the season, having taken a punt back 57 yards in the season opener.
Sherman’s punt return was the result of a trick play in which the Bears had thought that the ball had been kicked to Lockett as he drifted back and signaled for a fair catch. Actually, the ball sailed to Sherman on the opposite end of the field.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw a pass to tight end Jimmy Graham that resulted in a 30-yard touchdown in the third quarter and Seahawks’ placekicker Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals.
Wilson completed 20 passes in 30 attempts for 235 yards; Graham caught seven passes for 83 yards. Undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls replaced Marshawn Lynch, who suffered a hamstring injury in the first half, and rushed for 104 yards, gaining 98 in the second half.
The shutout was the Seahawks’ first since December 15, 2013 when they beat the New York Giants 23-0. Seahawks 26 Bears 0.
San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick suffered through his worse game of his career against the Arizona Cardinals as he threw four interceptions, two to Cardinals cornerback Tyrann Mathieu who returned one for a touchdown. DB Justin Bethel also returned a pick for a score. Kaepernick finished with nine completions in 19 attempts for 67 yards. His quarterback rating was a dismal 16.7.
Meanwhile, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer completed 20 passes in 32 attempts for 311 yards. He won his ninth consecutive game, the NFL’s longest active streak, and is 16-2 for his last 18 starts. Cardinals’ receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught nine passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and running back Chris Johnson scored two touchdowns and gained 150 all-purpose yards (110 rushing and 40 receiving).
The Cardinals collected a total of 446 yards to the 49ers’ 156. Cardinals 47 49ers 7.
The St. Louis Rams lost their second game in a row against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rams appear to have problems scoring points. That’s because they aren’t sustaining drives due to their inability to convert on third down. In this game the Rams offense could only convert two of their 10 third downs. Moreover, they were 0 for 2 on fourth down. The fact that the offense could only collect 258 yards is revealing. They were only able to muster up two field goals and have scored only 16 points in the last two games.
Although they had their problems, the Rams still were in the game. With 12 minutes to go in the third quarter tight end Lance Kendricks dropped a pass from Rams QB Nick Foles that may have resulted in a touchdown if he had caught it. In addition, with 1:19 left to play in the game, Foles appeared to have completed a pass to Kenny Britt putting the ball near midfield and giving the Rams a first down. However, the Steelers won their challenge of the catch denying the Rams offense a comeback. Although the offense didn’t come through, the Rams defense played well. They held the Steelers to just 2.8 yards a carry and collected five sacks. Steelers 12 Rams 6.
NFC WEST STANDINGS
ARIZONA CARDINALS 3-0
ST. LOUIS RAMS 1-2
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1-2
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1-2
NFC WEST SCHEDULE
PACKERS @ 49ERS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015
RAMS @ CARDINALS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015
LIONS @ SEAHAWKS MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2015
Courtesy of iSportsweb.com