- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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A periodic look at where NFC West defenses rank and potential areas to address:
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals rank last or second-to-last in all five yardage-based categories listed in the chart. Facing the Buffalo Bills' defense could provide short-term relief. Taking 17 sacks over the past two games left Arizona last in sacks per pass attempt, a subject we discussed Tuesday.
St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford threw six touchdown passes with six interceptions last season. He has six TDs and five INTs through five games this season. The five picks account for most of the Rams' seven turnovers. They rank tied for 13th in fewest giveaways, but 10 teams have six or seven this season.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers are dramatically better on offense this season. Even their No. 16 ranking in third-down conversion rate marks an improvement from 29.4 percent last season to 39.6 percent in 2012. The sacks-per-pass rate fell with Alex Smith taking zero sacks against Buffalo. Leading the NFL in passer rating and Total QBR.
Seattle Seahawks: Seattle has four touchdowns in 14 red-zone possessions, good for a No. 32 ranking in that category. The team had seven touchdowns on 12 such possessions at this point last season, only to score three on its next 11 chances. The No. 7 ranking in rushing yardage gives the offense something to build around.
A periodic look at where NFC West defenses rank and potential areas to address: Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals rank last or second-to-last in all five yardage-based categories listed in the chart.