The day ahead: NFC West quick hitters

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- One thought per NFC West team before boarding a flight home from Arizona:

  • St. Louis Rams: Their fourth-quarter near-collapse at Denver should help keep them grounded heading to Arizona. This team keeps its focus under the consistent coaching of Steve Spagnuolo, anyway. All signs point to St. Louis beating Arizona. Even bad teams have been dominating the Cardinals lately. This game should make the Rams a little nervous, though. The circumstances appear almost too perfect.

  • Seattle Seahawks: As badly as the Seahawks need receiver Mike Williams, rushing him back against Carolina wouldn't make much sense. If Seattle cannot win at home against the 1-10 Panthers without Williams, the team is worse off than its rough showing against Kansas City suggested. Having Williams at San Francisco in Week 14 looks like a must.

  • San Francisco 49ers. The details regarding Frank Gore's injury stand out as the most important storyline for the team coming out of Week 12. Do doctors expect Gore to make a full recovery? Might Gore's injury be more serious? Bo Jackson was never the same after suffering one with the Los Angeles Raiders.

  • Arizona Cardinals. Coach Ken Whisenhunt fielded multiple questions suggesting fans want to see wholesale changes. The reality? Those options tend to be imaginary. There simply aren't that many great options at this stage of a season. It's reasonable to expect the Cardinals to give more playing time to a few younger players. Rookie nose tackle Dan Williams comes to mind.

My plane is leaving momentarily. The Monday night game threw off my usual routine, pushing back a few items that generally appear on Tuesdays. I'll hit on those as time permits.