NFC West on the rise

The NFC West. A division that was referred to as the NFC Worst when Seahawks coach Pete Carroll took over in 2010 has gotten the last laugh in the first two weeks of the NFL season.

The 49ers (2-0), Cardinals (2-0), Seahawks (1-1) and Rams (1-1) are a combined 6-2, the best record of the league’s eight divisions. And included in the W’s are victories over the Cowboys (by the Seahawks on Sunday), Patriots (by the Cardinals on Sunday), Packers (by the 49ers last week) and Lions (by the 49ers on Sunday night).

“We’re improved,” Carroll said today during his weekly day-after Q&A session. “The Niners played so well last year (13-3) and did such a good job throughout the season, they look like they’re really legit again. So the rest of us were trying to catch up a little bit.

“However, it’s happening.”

And the four teams are thriving by playing a physical and constrictive style of defense. The Seahawks rank sixth in average yards allowed after two games, with the 49ers at No. 11, the Cardinals at No. 13 and the Rams at No. 24. In average points allowed, of the teams that have played two games, the Seahawks are No. 3 (13.5), the Cardinals are No. 5 (17.0) and the 49ers are tied for No. 9 (20.5).

“I think it’s a very aggressive division,” Carroll said. “Our style, San Francisco’s style, the way the Cardinals are playing defense. I don’t know much about the Rams; haven’t seen them much, yet. But what else is Jeff (Fisher, the Rams’ first-year coach) going to do? He’s going to bring it.

“So it’s shaping up to be a really cool division. And I think people are going to look at it a lot differently than they have, say a couple years ago.”

via Blog | Monday in Hawkville: NFC West on the rise.