NFC West Outlook
November 1 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers are once again sitting alone on top of the NFC West. At 5-2, the 49ers lead the Cardinals by a game and half after defeating them last week. The 49ers however are not clearly the crowned team in the division just yet though. The rest of the NFC West, with the exception of the Seahawks who at 1-5 are essentially out of the playoff race, despite being a good team, are still in contention.
Oddly, the St. Louis Rams, who are in third place at 3-5, after dropping a horde of games at the beginning of the season probably remain the 49ers biggest threat. Despite having beaten them once this season, the 49ers canít feel comfortable about The Rams being just two wins back of them.
As of late, the Rams have played extremely well, beating good teams like the Raiders who the 49ers face this week. They are returning to health and in the process returning to the explosive offense they made famous in recent years. While the 49ers are clearly running out front of the Rams, they will be hoping that when the two teams have their rematch in the final game of the season, that they had already locked up the NFC West crown.
Arizona of course is a threat, but they really donít seem as dangerous as the Rams despite having a better record. I know I wonít feel comfortable until the 9ers have secured the top spot in the NFC, the spot that is by all accounts, rightfully theirs.