The Pro Football Notebook

November 29, 2010 7:36 AM

The Mild, Wild West

LarryFitzgerald.jpgIn the NFC West, mild means wild, because Seattle's home loss to Kansas City yesterday means no one in the division is over .500 and inexplicably, tonight's otherwise forgettable Monday Night Game between two 3-7 teams in Arizona and San Francisco, is now a significant game. The winner pulls to within a game of the co-leaders in Seattle and St. Louis with plenty of time to go.

The Seahawks could have taken control of this division yesterday, but the 'Hawks seem to be regressing as the year goes on. Their 42-24 loss marks the second time a decent team has come into Qwest Field and hammered them--the Giants being the other. KC destroyed Seattle on the ground, piling up 270 yards and the Matt Cassell-to-Dwayne Bowe combination kept the defense off balance. So much for Seattle's big homefield advantage. St. Louis ran out to a 33-13 lead in Denver and then held off the Broncos in a 36-33 win. Sam Bradford and Kyle Orton went after each other in a shootout and Bradford continues to show he's the real deal. Stephen Jackson chipped in 72 yards on the ground to aid the cause.

I'd really like to lock in some keys to look at in tonight's game, but when teams are as inconsistent as the Cardinals and Niners are, it's tough. Both are still trying to find their identity, a problem that befits 3-7 teams. Where I give Arizona an edge is that the players know the head coach is coming back next year. Ken Wisenhunt has proven himself in the desert, and I'm guessing that will be enough to win this game. But this is surely the most improbable key game of the season, and we have mediocrity to thank for it.

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Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily commentary in college football ,game analysis in the NFL. and coverage of college basketball. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.

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