'Silver linings' earn well-deserved week off

Monday morning on the NFC West blog just won't be the same after the division posted a 3-0 record Sunday.

It's been my custom since the 2008 regular-season opener to follow every NFC West defeat with a fan-friendly "Silver linings" item highlighting bright spots, however few, from the previous day's darkness.

Sometimes I've stretched hard to find items. When the St. Louis Rams suffered a 38-0 defeat at Philadelphia to open the 2008 season, I noted that defensive end Chris Long "came close to pressuring" Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. It was the best I could do.

These items could easily become reservoirs for sarcasm, but I've always resisted going that route, figuring fans could find plenty elsewhere. "Silver linings" were one place a dejected fan could find safety.

Consider this a watershed day for the NFC West.

The Rams' Long did more than "come close" to pressuring the quarterback Sunday. He had two of the Rams' seven sacks during a 20-17 victory over San Diego, the third time in four games St. Louis has won.

The Seattle Seahawks defeated a winning team on the road in a 10 a.m. PT kickoff for the first time since 2004. Their 23-20 victory at Chicago didn't feel that close.

The San Francisco 49ers earned their first victory over the season, 17-9 over Oakland.

The Arizona Cardinals did not play, but they did defeat the New Orleans Saints 30-20 the previous week.

The Cardinals-Seahawks game in Week 7 assures "Silver linings" will return soon enough. Let's work in a few more off weeks in the future.