A closer look at how the Seahawks’ NFC West rivals fared in Week 9 around the
Arizona Cardinals (6-2)
Like the Seahawks, the Cardinals were on bye in Week 9.
Arizona returns to action in Week 10 against Seattle on Sunday Night Football at CenturyLink Field, where Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer will square off against his former college coach Pete Carroll.
“Carson is playing phenomenal football,” Carroll said Monday of the USC product who has thrown for 2,386 yards and 20 touchdowns and who is averaging an NFL-high 9.18 yards per attempt. “He looks as good as he’s ever looked. He’s in great command of the offense. He can throw every throw.”
Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown, along with veteran running back Chris Johnson’s resurgence, have helped Palmer and the Cardinals put up 32.9 points per game and a plus-110 point differential, second in the NFL in both categories to the undefeated New England Patriots (34.5, plus-133).
“They have a really nice setup for him with the receivers that they have, the running backs can catch the football,” Carroll said. “They come downhill with the running game, they make you have to defend it and then they fire the thing all over the field. They’re as aggressive downfield as anybody we play with players that can make things happen.
“Carson has just been great,” Carroll added. “I think it’s really the best I’ve ever seen him in all the years he’s been out there playing and I think he really fits with [Arizona head coach] Bruce [Arians] and the offense and all that. They’re really making the most of their personnel.” Read
St. Louis Rams (4-4)
The Rams fell to .500 on the season with a 21-18 overtime loss to the Vikings (6-2) in Minnesota.
Todd Gurley’s streak of 125-plus rushing yard games ended at four, as the rookie running back finished Sunday’s contest with 89 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries (3.7-yard average) … Nick Foles completed 18-of-33 passes for 168 yards for a 68.8 quarterback rating … Greg Zuerlein connected on four field goals for St. Louis, with kicks from 35, 45, 53, and a career-long and franchise-record 61 yards all true, with the 53-yarder tying the game at 18 near the end of regulation … Kenny Britt led all Rams pass catchers with three grabs for 87 yards … Wideout Tavon Austin added 66 yards on eight carries … Cornerback Trumaine Johnson recorded his third interception of the season … Linebacker James Laurinaitis led St. Louis with eight tackles, including one for loss … The St. Louis offense finished 2-of-16 on third down, putting the club at 4-of-37 in such situations the past three weeks.
While not exactly injury-related, it’s worth noting that third-year St. Louis wide receiver Stedman Bailey has been suspended for the next four games for violating the NFL’s policy and program for substances of abuse. Bailey, who was suspended two games last season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, has 12 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown, the fourth-most receiving yards for the Rams this season. With Bailey out, St. Louis signed veteran receiver Wes Welker to its 53-man active roster. Welker, who played with the Denver Broncos last season, has made 890 catches for 9,822 yards and 50 touchdowns through 11 NFL seasons.
The Rams host the Chicago Bears (*-*) in Week 10 at St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome. Read
San Francisco 49ers (3-6)
The Niners secured a one-point win over the visiting Falcons (6-3), topping Atlanta 17-16 on Sunday at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium.
Promoted backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert finished the day 15-of-25 for 185 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions – one of which went off a wide receiver’s hands, and ran for 32 yards on eight carries in place of the demoted Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco’s signal caller to open the season … Tight end Garrett Celek hauled in both of Gabbert’s touchdown tosses, each of which came in the game’s second quarter to stake the 49ers a 17-6 lead they would not relinquish … Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, the NFL’s second-leading rusher entering Week 9, was held by San Francisco’s defense to 12 yards on 12 carries … Shaun Draughn was the 49ers’ leading rusher, carrying 16 times for 58 yards … Quinton Patton led all Niners receivers with three grabs for 70 yards … Cornerback Marcus Cromartie and linebacker NaVorro Bowman paced the San Francisco defense with seven tackles apiece.
The 49ers were without leading rusher Carlos Hyde (foot) and leading receiver Anquan Boldin (hamstring) against the Falcons, each of whom remain “day-to-day” after Sunday’s win. Cromartie (facial laceration), linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle, finger), and defensive back Jimmie Ward (ankle) were all hurt against Atlanta, but San Francisco coach Jim Tomsula said the team doesn’t see any of the injuries as long-term.
The 49ers are on bye in Week 10, but return to action in Week 11 against the Seahawks at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, where Gabbert will make his second consecutive start.