The Seattle Seahawks didn't play well in their home victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. But they won. That's what good NFL teams do over the grind of a grueling 16 game season. They find a way to win.
That win turned out to be a big one, keeping the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams, also winners on Sunday, at bay. Now, with consecutive road games at NFC West rivals Arizona and St. Louis, the Seahawks have a chance to place an early claim on the division title.
Once again, Seattle dominated the stats column, but nearly fell short on the scoreboard. Two lost fumbles allowed a gritty Titans team to stay in the game. Eventually, Marshawn Lynch wore down the Tennessee defense. His bruising three yard run with just over seven minutes to play extended Seattle's lead from a mere field goal to 10 points. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Titans weren't coming back from that deficit.
If Seattle can win in Arizona and St. Louis, they'll be 7-1 at the midpoint of the season. Perhaps more importantly, they'll have swept their first go-round through the NFC West and won two of those on the road. Of course the flip side of that is if the Cardinals and/or Rams can hold serve at home the next two weeks. That will set up one wild ride of a race toward the playoffs over the final eight games.
In the other NFC West action, the Cardinals visited San Francisco for their second NFC West road game. The result wasn't any better for Bruce Arians' club than when they started the season in St. Louis. The Cardinals hung around, but the NIners eventually pulled away for a 32-20 victory.
With San Francisco still hurting for receiving threats, Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis stepped up in a big way, catching eight balls for 180 yards and two scores from Colin Kaepernick. Frank Gore helped keep the ball in San Francisco's hands with a 101-yard performance on 25 carries. Kaepernick was again balky though at quarterback, completing just over 50 per cent of his passes and committing two turnovers.
For their part, the Niners' defense forced four Arizona miscues that were crucial to the outcome. Two early turnovers gave a sputtering Niners' offense a pair of field goals and Arizona coughed up a fumble on a deep drive into San Francisco territory late in the third quarter.
While the Cardinals return home to host the Seahawks, the Niners travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans.
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