NFC West Report: Seahawks, Cardinals Extend Winning Streaks

  • In the NFC West Report, we keep you covered on the San Francisco 49ers divisional rivals.*

The 49ers fell back into fourth place in the division after losing to the Cleveland Browns, 24-10.

All three of San Francisco's NFC West foes picked up wins, including two teams that look poised for a playoff run.

Here's what's happening around the division as the 49ers begin Week 15.

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Arizona Cardinals (11-2)

Week 14:23-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Notes:The Cardinals survived a scare from the Vikings, who erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter on Thursday night. Arizona made the winning field goal with a minute and a half remaining in regulation, but Minnesota seemingly put itself in position to send the game to overtime.

That scenario, however, abruptly ended when Dwight Freeney strip-sacked Teddy Bridgewater in Cardinals territory. Arizona recovered the loose ball and picked up its seventh consecutive victory.

Carson Palmer threw for 310 yards and his 30th and 31st touchdown passes of the year, which broke Kurt Warner's single-season franchise record. In place of the injured Chris Johnson, rookie running back David Johnson totaled 92 yards on 19 carries. Meanwhile, Tyrann Mathieu continued his Pro Bowl-caliber season with a team-high 11 tackles. The Cardinals can clinch their first NFC West title since 2009 with a win or Seahawks loss this week. 

Week 15:Arizona visits the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) on Sunday night.

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Seattle Seahawks (8-5)

Week 14:35-6 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Notes:Perhaps no team in the NFL is as hot as the Seahawks right now. The two-time defending NFC champs have won four consecutive games, outscoring their opponents by 85 points in that stretch. Seattle, which at one point had a 2-4 record this season, now holds the fifth seed in the playoffs.

Russell Wilson has been the main catalyst for the Seahawks. Against the Ravens, the quarterback completed 23-of-32 passes for 292 yards and five touchdowns. In his last four outings, Wilson has totaled 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Doug Baldwin, a Stanford product, has caught eight of those scores.

Defensively, Richard Sherman picked up his second interception in his last three games after not recording any in the first 11 weeks of the season. Seattle did, however, lose breakout rookie running back Thomas Rawls to a broken ankle. The undrafted gem had 830 rushing yards in 13 games this year. With Marshawn Lynch still sidelined, the Seahawks will have to find another replacement in the backfield.

Week 15:Seattle hosts the Cleveland Browns (3-10) on Sunday.

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St. Louis Rams (5-8)

Week 14:21-14 victory over the Detroit Lions.

Notes:The Rams snapped a five-game skid by shutting down the visiting Lions. Calvin Johnson was held to just one catch for 16 yards. Trumaine Johnson recorded a pick-six off Matthew Stafford for the first points of the afternoon. Aaron Donald also sacked Stafford three times to up his season total to 11.

With the defense doing its thing, Todd Gurley handled the rest for St. Louis. The rookie running back carried the ball 16 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Gurley had been limited to just 60 total rushing yards in his previous two outings.

The Rams own the league's 32nd-ranked passing offense, but their rushing offense ranks sixth. St. Louis has not finished with a .500 record or better since 2006, but the team can break that streak if it wins out. 

Week 15:St. Louis hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) on Thursday.

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