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Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Around the NFC West: QB's missed chance

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

One play from Charlie Whitehurst stood out more than the others during the Seattle Seahawks' 6-3 defeat at Cleveland in Week 7.

It stood out enough for me to list it second among the five observations posted Tuesday.

Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle takes a much closer look at the missed opportunity. He diagrams the play and explains in detail how Whitehurst should have dodged a defender and thrown a likely touchdown pass to tight end Cameron Morrah. Instead, Whitehurst threw away the ball as if afraid to make a mistake or unsure of how to handle the situation.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the team was pleased with Robert Gallery's performance against Cleveland. Noted: I watched Gallery closely and also thought he was better. The offensive line in general wasn't the problem for Seattle, save for a few breakdowns from rookie right tackle James Carpenter. Quarterback play and tight end play seemed like much bigger problems.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Whitehurst showed why he's the backup.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with an orthopedic surgeon for thoughts on what could be wrong with Beanie Wells' injured knee.

Also from Somers: a comprehensive look at the Cardinals' roster with an eye toward what the team could realistically change following its 1-5 start. Somers: "So, put all that together and here's what you have: a rookie tight end (Rob Housler) who needs to play more. A young linebacker (Sam Acho or O'Brien Schofield) who should be starting. A high-priced linebacker (Stewart Bradley) who needs to find a home, and nose tackle (David Carter) who's earned more time."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the team is trying to help its offense by having coordinator Mike Miller down on the field during games.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams special-teamer Chris Chamberlain, who has worked his way into the starting lineup at linebacker. Chamberlain did not seem assured of a roster spot when the Rams signed multiple veteran linebackers in free agency. Thomas: "Chamberlain made the final 53, and five games into the 2011 season, he found himself in the starting lineup against Green Bay. One of those free agents, Zac Diles, didn't make the final roster. Another of the free agents, Ben Leber, was benched after three lackluster starts, giving way to Chamberlain." Noted: The fact that Chamberlain has worked his way into the starting lineup is great for him, but also a symbol of what's wrong with the Rams this season. They signed all of those veteran linebackers precisely because they didn't want to rely on special-teams players at linebacker.

Also from Thomas: the Rams' run defense is on a record pace. Not the good kind, either. Thomas: "The Rams are allowing 183.8 rushing yards a game, a pace that would have them yielding 2,941 yards on the ground by season's end. And that would smash by nearly 500 yards the previous franchise record for most rushing yards allowed in a season, a dubious mark belonging to the 2008 Rams of head coach Scott Linehan and interim head coach Jim Haslett. Those Rams yielded 2,475 yards."

Tony Softli of 101ESPN St. Louis offers personal thoughts on what the Rams leadership is going through.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says 49ers receiver Braylon Edwards ran a variety of pass routes at top speed upon his return from a knee injury Tuesday. Maiocco: "Edwards underwent arthroscopic surgery Sept. 19 on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. It appears as if he will be available to return to action Sunday at Candlestick Park against the Cleveland Browns, the team that made him the No. 3 overall selection in the 2005 draft."

Also from Maiocco: The 49ers are seeking counsel from ... MC Hammer.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News looks at NaVorro Bowman's emergence as a key contributor for the 49ers.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle checks in with Fox analyst and former NFL fullback Daryl Johnston for thoughts on the 49ers' run schemes. More here.