The St. Louis Rams may be 0-3 in preseason games, but in two weeks that will mean nothing as records reset to 0-0 for the regular season. The Rams' divisional rival, on the other hand, will inherit some lingering injury issues that will stay with them for the regular season in spite of winning preseason records.
The latest key player on an NFC West squad to go down is Arizona Cardinals' offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper. The Cardinals used their first round selection on Cooper in this past April's NFL Draft to shore up what has been a major problem for their offense. Pro Football Focus ranked the Cardinals' offensive line the NFL's worst in 2012.
With Cooper likely out for the entire season with a broken fibula, statue-like QB Carson Palmer now becomes a sitting duck in the pocket with his big rookie left tackle unable to protect him. The effort to replace Cooper may involve sliding guard Daryn Colledge to tackle, which might spare Palmer a bit, but certainly won't help Rashard Mendenhall and the Cardinals' running game.
The Cardinals lost the game 24-7 to the San Diego Chargers and finish the preseason Thursday night in Denver.
Elsewhere in the NFC West:
The Seattle Seahawks pulled out a 17-10 win at Green Bay Friday night on the strength of a strong rushing performance from rookie RB Christine Michael. Michael piled up 97 yards on 11 carries including an impressive 43 yard score. Marshawn Lynch isn't fearing for his job security, however. He'll be the workhorse when the season starts with Michael providing a change of pace. Lynch and the Seahawks are thankful a younger back has been in camp to take some of the meaningless preseason carries and save the wear and tear.
Russell Wilson was hardly stellar, however, in the win, throwing two picks in his half plus of playing time. We'll see how Wilson responds once games start counting, but there's reason for Seattle fans to start thinking Wilson might be something less than the second coming of Joe Montana. Jeff Blake?
Seattle will finish the preseason at home against the Oakland Raiders.
The other NFC West wunderkind, Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers, didn't exactly set the world on fire Sunday night against Minnesota. Kaepernick completed just over 50 per cent of his passes and threw a touchdown in limited action. It would appear that the Niners are shopping backup Colt McCoy as they gave him the lion's share of the snaps against the Vikings.
San Francisco will finish at San Diego Thursday.
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- NFC West Week in Review: Watch Out for the Arizona Cardinals
- Don’t Count Out the Arizona Cardinals
- Halfway Through Preseason, Seattle Seahawks Look Best in NFC West
- Three Reasons Why the St. Louis Rams Could Win the NFC West
- St. Louis Rams Fans Takeaway from Preseason Game One: Don’t Panic
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