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NFC West Report: 14 Things before Week 14


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With that said, here are 12 things to know about the San Francisco 49ers three divisional foes entering Week 14.

1. The Arizona Cardinalsroad record fell to 2-3 after a 29-18 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

  1. In his third straight start, Cards de facto starting quarterback Drew Stanton was 24-of-39 passing for 294 yards and a touchdown, but his two interceptions are a more accurate representation of his outing.
  1. Cornerback Patrick Peterson was bested by Falcons wideout Julio Jones (10 catches, 189 yards), but Peterson has the weekly burden of covering the opposition's best pass-catcher. Who will he shadow in Week 17, when the 49ers host the Cardinals?

4. Arizona's defense yielded 500 yards of Atlanta offense after going three straight games without allowing more than 300.

5. Injuries may finally be catching up to the the division leader: Wideout Larry Fitzgerald (knee) missed a second straight game, and running back Andre Ellington (hip), safety Tyrann Mathieu (thumb) and offensive guard Paul Fanaika (ankle) all left the game early.

6. Things only get harder for the Cardinals: They face a postseason-hopeful Kansas City Chiefs squad before finishing the season with three straight divisional games, including road trips to St. Louis and San Francisco.

7. The St. Louis Rams set a high bar for the 49ers, beating San Francisco's next opponent, the 1-11 Oakland Raiders, by a 52-0 margin.

  1. Rookie running back Tre Mason racked up 164 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns, looking like Zac Stacy did in 2013. Will he be able to do what Stacy couldn't and maintain his production in the future? 

9. The Rams defense recorded six sacks of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, including three by Robert Quinn and one by Chris Long, who returned from injury and played for the first time since the season opener.

10. St. Louis heads to Washington, which has already gone 0-3 against the NFC West this season.

11. The Seattle Seahawks appeared to regain their Super Bowl form, winning consecutive games against its main competition for the division crown: Arizona in Week 12 and San Francisco in Week 13.

12. Like the 49ers, the Seahawks know they have a kicker they can trust in playoff-like atmospheres. After four more makes on Thanksgiving night, Steven Hauschka is now 27-of-30 kicking field goals this season.

  1. Seattle would probably prefer to rest physical running back Marshawn Lynch (104 yards on 20 carries) for a playoff run, but the squad needs to clinch a spot first.
  1. The Seahawks also finish the season with three divisional games, but they must first visit Philadelphia; and the 9-3 Eagles, who also won on Thanksgiving, are a worthy opponent. If the defending champs go 4-0 down the stretch, they'll win the division outright, leaving Arizona and San Francisco competing with conference peers for a playoff spot.
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