With nearly a third of the season in the rearview mirror, it is time to look at the NFC West as everyone is starting to see what these teams really are. This list will be based on who is the best at this moment and who they’ve beaten and how badly they were beaten. There will be a look ahead for each team but that will be parenthetical and will not influence where they are now at the time of this writing. Without further ado, here are the Week Six NFC West power rankings.
Rams Rise: Week 6 NFC West Power Rankings
1. Seattle Seahawks (5-0)
Welp, quarterback Russell Wilson is still really good. The Seahawks are enjoying their first 5-0 start in franchise history (surprisingly, the first one for a franchise that has been to the Super Bowl three times in the last 15 years). However, if there was one ding against the Seahawks in 2020, it would be that their opponents have not been that great.
The only big win was against Cam Newton and New England Patriots by a score of 35-30. Also, with the exception of beating Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, every win has only been by one possession. Most recently, it took a comeback performance by Wilson to defeat Kirk Cousins and the one-win Vikings on Sunday Night Football.
On the other hand, those who have watched the Seahawks during the Wilson era will know that every game will be close no matter the opponent but the team will win anyway. Therefore, where this would normally be enough to move any other team back a peg, the Seahawks continue to stay strong at number one.
That being said, their schedule ahead is rough: they play Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals twice, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, and Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams in their next five games. If the Seahawks can escape this stretch with only one loss or less, they could be the best team in football.
After those games, it gets a lot easier again as the team faces Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles, Daniel Jones and the New York Giants, Sam Darnold and the New York Jets, Alex Smith (possibly) and the Washington Football Team, the Rams and the quarterback of the day of the San Francisco 49ers (more on that later).
2. Los Angeles Rams (4-1)
The Rams’ big victory over Washington created sighs of relief across Rams Nation. After the comeback attempt fell short to the Bills and a close win over the Giants, the Rams looked more like the team from 2019 and not 2018. Now at 4-1, this team looks like it is back in 2018-mode.
However, until the Rams defeat the Seattle Seahawks, they will remain the second-best team in the division barring a complete implosion by Seattle. With the 4th-ranked defense and the 4th-ranked offense, this team has beaten expectations through five weeks.
The next several games are an enigma. First, they play the 49ers who have viewers scratching their heads at quarterback. After that, they play Nick Foles and the Chicago Bears who could be good or bad depending on Foles’ mood. However, they did lose to this team in 2018 on Sunday Night Football. Third, they play the magical or “tragical” Ryan Fitzpatrick. If the Rams are lucky, they will play these teams on their bad days and will be 7-1 by the end. On the other hand, if they play these teams on a good day, they could easily be 4-4 or 5-3.
3. Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
While the Cardinals are third in their division, they’re far from bad. At 3-2, they’ll likely be on the edge of the playoff bubble all year long. They just ended a two-game skid after starting 2-0 by beating up on the Jets. Despite losing two of their last three games, they’re currently ranked with the 10th-best offense and the 10th-best defense. If they can hover around being in the top 10 in both categories, they’ll be in the playoffs.
Looking ahead, there’s no reason, barring injury, why they cannot finish the season at 9-7 or better. They still have to play the Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys who are now without Dak Prescott. If they can win these games and go .500 in the rest, they should be in the playoffs come January with a 10-6 record.
“…times are as bad as ever in the Golden City.”
4. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
What is happening with this team? The season after making the Super Bowl has been about as bad as the half-decade that preceded it. Backup quarterback extraordinaire Nick Mullens has been benched as has the savior Jimmy Garoppolo. Somehow, the buried C.J. Beathard has found his way back onto the field. Of course, Head Coach Kyle Shanahan explained the benching to be due to Garoppolo’s lingering ankle injury. However, Garoppolo was making questionable decisions in that game by throwing into double-teams before he was benched. Originally, the 49ers’ slow start has been chalked up to injuries but is there something more brewing in San Francisco? Could defenses have learned how to play against Garoppolo where they bottle up the run and force him to throw to win? It is too early to tell but regardless, times are as bad as ever in the Golden City.
Looking to the future, the 49ers can simply plan on losing every game until their quarterback situation is resolved. The 49ers have already played the New York Jets so their most winnable game is already behind them.
NFC West Power Rankings: Then And Now
While the order of teams has not changed since the Week 2 NFC West power rankings, there has been a change in the tier makeup. Back in Week 2, the Seahawks were in their own tier at the top with the Rams and Cardinals in the middle tier and the 49ers in the last tier but only due to Garoppolo’s injury.
Now, the Seahawks and Rams are sharing the top tier while the Cardinals sit alone in the mid-tier, and the 49ers have now solidified themselves in the bottom tier. If the 49ers can figure it out quickly, there remains an ability for them to move to the middle tier in a couple of weeks. They’ll have to earn it after a 2-3 start and a benching of their top two starting quarterbacks.