NFC West: Final Word NFC 2010 Week 10

Final Word: NFC West

November, 12, 2010
11/12/10
4:00
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 10:

Sam Bradford hits the road. The Rams' rookie quarterback has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in two of his three road games this season. He has shown an ability to play well for stretches away from the Edward Jones Dome. Bradford didn't play well enough in the second halves of road defeats against Oakland and Tampa Bay, however. The Rams held halftime leads in both games. Bradford probably must finish stronger for the Rams to beat the San Francisco 49ers and claim their first road victory of the season.

Matt Hasselbeck's opportunity. Hasselbeck's return to the lineup at quarterback after a concussion-induced absence gives Seattle the edge at quarterback against Derek Anderson and the Cardinals in Week 10. Although the Cardinals' shaky play this season does give Hasselbeck a fresh opportunity, his passer ratings at Arizona have fallen precipitously in his past three games there (133.5 in 2006, 94.8 in 2007 and 59.4 last season). The Seahawks haven't won in Arizona since their 2005 Super Bowl season. They have never won at University of Phoenix Stadium.

[+] EnlargeJoey Porter
AP Photo/Jim MoneArizona pass-rusher Joey Porter could be a factor against Seattle.
Getting after Bradford. The 49ers' pass-rush put the hurt on Denver's Kyle Orton. Outside linebackers Manny Lawson and Ahmad Brooks incurred $22,500 in NFL fines for hits on the Broncos' quarterback. Bradford enters the crosshairs in Week 10. Bradford has limited experience against 3-4 defenses. The last time he faced one, San Diego put some hard hits on him. The league fined the Chargers' Antwan Barnes for one of those hits. Chargers linebacker Kevin Burnett escaped punishment for a helmet-to-helmet hit because Bradford was scrambling outside the pocket.

Appreciating greatness. The NFC West has invited its share of criticism as the only division without a winning team entering Week 10. The Rams' Steven Jackson and the 49ers' Frank Gore do offer some redemption. Both run with heart, toughness and skill. They're fearless. They punish defenders. The AFC South's Arian Foster and Chris Johnson form the top 1-2 punch for any division, with 1,585 yards. The AFC West's Darren McFadden and Jamaal Charles have 1,476 yards. Jackson and Gore aren't far behind. They've combined for 1,367 yards, matching the AFC North's Rashard Mendenhall and Ray Rice among dynamic divisional duos.

Porter and the reporters. The Seahawks went out of their way to stop the New York Giants' Osi Umenyiora from getting after the quarterback last week. Cardinals pass-rusher Joey Porter might not draw as much attention, particularly now that Seattle has better depth at left tackle (even if Russell Okung misses another game). Porter had two sacks against Minnesota in Week 9. He ribbed reporters for suddenly paying attention to him, suggesting he's been consistent even without the sacks. Either way, he's someone to watch Sunday.

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