The NFC West went 2-2 last week, but overall there was plenty to be excited about. The Arizona Cardinals responded to their Week 1 loss by obliterating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams got in the win column against the Seahawks.
Even though the San Francisco 49ers came up short against the Carolina Panthers, they made a late comeback and had an overall good showing.
Week 3 will bring a new set of challenges as one team makes a coast-to-coast trip to take on an extremely desperate AFC East squad, and two hated rivals clash for the first time this year.
Arizona Cardinals (1-1) @ Buffalo Bills (0-2)
The Cardinals needed to get a win last week and they proceeded to put the entire NFL on notice with their performance against the Bucs.
The Cardinals defense picked off Jameis Winston four times and reminded the NFL of their ability to completely take over a game. Meanwhile their offense showed off their litany of weapons that makes them one of the NFL’s most dangerous teams.
Taking on the Bills should allow the Cardinals to keep up their momentum. The Bills defense has been awful this season, yet Buffalo surprisingly made the decision to fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
The Bills have some weapons on offense as LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins, and Marquese Goodwin are all capable of big plays, but the Cardinals absolutely have the pieces on defense to keep them in check.
On the other end, Buffalo’s defense has been awful and Carson Palmer should have a field day with all of his options on offense. David Johnson is extremely versatile and Larry Fitzgerald continues to produce at a high level.
There is always the worry of a West coast team making the trip East, but the Cardinals should still have very little issue taking care of the floundering Bills.
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
If anyone had said that the 49ers would look better through two games than the Seahawks they would’ve been laughed at, but that is exactly where we are at.
Seattle has only one touchdown as they have struggled through injuries, namely to quarterback Russell Wilson who hasn’t been himself so far this year. Running back Thomas Rawls also suffered a leg injury against the Rams and his status is up in the air.
The good thing for the Seahawks is that their defense still looks to be the same elite unit it has been the last couple of years. They have a clear talent advantage over the 49ers offense which struggled against the Panthers last week, committing three turnovers and never getting the run game going. Blaine Gabbert must take care of the ball for the 49ers to have a chance.
On the other side, the injury to Wilson has completely hampered his ability to do all of the things fans are used to seeing from him. He still has some reliable receiving weapons in Doug Baldwin and the electric Tyler Lockett, but they will also need to figure out how to get the run game better working. The 49ers defense struggled last week after an excellent showing in Week 1. This week will decide which was the performance we should expect going forward.
Returning home after a disappointing loss to the Rams should give the Seahawks exactly what they need. If they can finally get their offense going after a couple of disappointing weeks, the defense should hold up their end and the Seahawks should get back on track.