NFC West Report: 16 Things before Week 16

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Here are 16 things to know about the San Francisco 49ers three divisional foes entering Week 16.*

1. The Arizona Cardinalsheld off the next team on this list, 12-6, last Thursday to become the first NFC team to clinch a playoff spot.

  1. It came at a cost: Starting quarterback Drew Stanton, who had replaced the injured Carson Palmer on a full-time basis in Week 11, sprained his knee while being sacked in the third quarter and will miss two to four weeks.
  1. Ryan Lindley took over for Stanton and was 4-of-10 passing for 30 yards and...
  1. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said he would design a package of plays for the younger Logan Thomas, who is waiting in the wings.
  1. Former Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner, who last played for the team in 2009, said it was "crazy and stupid" that he allowed himself to think he could make a comeback.
  1. After a dismal Week 15 effort, rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro showed that he's ready for the playoffs by nailing all four of his three-point tries, including three from 44 yards out or beyond. 
  1. Arizona is 7-0 at home this season, where they will host the last team on this list in Week 16.

8. The St. Louis Rams couldn't take advantage of opportunities to upset the division leaders, snapping their two-game winning streak in the process.

9. The Rams were 0-2 against the Cardinals this season because they managed just 20 total points in the matchups. 

  1. St. Louis' best playmakers for the future, wideout Tavon Austin and running back Tre Mason, each showed their inexperience by fumbling the ball against the Cards.
  1. The team went 7-8-1 and 7-9 in its first two seasons under head coach Jeff Fisher but has an opportunity to finish at .500 for the first time if it can best the New York Giants in Week 16 and the defending Super Bowl champions in Week 17.

12. The Seattle Seahawks won a 17-7 slugfest against the 49ers, putting themselves in a solid position to steal the NFC West title from Arizona.

  1. With four straight wins, the Seahawks also have their eyes on the conference's number one seed, which would include a first-round bye in the playoffs, for a second straight winter.

14. Cornerback Richard Sherman appeared beatable on Sunday, as Kaepernick started out 5-of-5 for 79 yards when throwing in Sherman's direction.

  1. Left tackle Russell Okung bruised his lung on the final play before halftime; Russell Wilson's blindside protector will be out of action for at least a week.
  1. The Seahawks won their season series with the 49ers, 2-0.

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