Friday, October 12, 2012
Around the NFC West: Non-division records
By Mike Sando
NFC West teams face no games against division rivals this week.
It's the third time in five weeks the division has played four games against outside competition.
All four teams won in Week 2. Arizona defeated New England, 20-18. San Francisco defeated Detroit, 27-19. Seattle defeated Dallas, 27-7. St. Louis defeated Washington, 31-28. The 4-0 record outside the division came as a bit of a shock. This was before the NFC West had established itself as one of the better divisions.
NFC West teams went 2-2 outside the division a week later. Arizona defeated Philadelphia (27-6) and Seattle defeated Green Bay (14-12). But San Francisco surprisingly lost at Minnesota (24-13) and St. Louis lost at Chicago (23-6).
Three of the four games in Week 6 will be played at NFC West venues, where division teams have a 10-0 record through Week 5.
The Cardinals and 49ers have each won eight consecutive regular-season games at home, tied for the second-longest active streaks in the NFL (Baltimore, 13). But San Francisco did lose at home in the playoffs to the New York Giants, who will be making their third trip to Candlestick Park since Week 9 last season.
The Rams will be looking for their first road win under coach Jeff Fisher when they visit Miami, where the Dolphins are 1-1 this season.
St. Louis won at Cleveland last season for its lone road win. The team won four road games under former coach Steve Spagnuolo: the game at Cleveland, back-to-back games against Arizona and Denver in 2010, and an overtime game at Detroit in 2009.
Some have asked in years past what it would take for the NFC West to "command respect" around the league. Improving its non-division record is a big part of the answer.
NFC West teams were 13-27 outside the division in 2010. They were 18-22 outside it last season. The non-division record stands at 11-3 this season. That is progress.