San Francisco 49ers are team to beat in NFC West standings following after vs. Bills

Brian Bahr - Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals are no longer undefeated—and after the San Francisco 49ers destroyed the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, they're no longer alone in the NFC West standings.

Now that the Arizona Cardinals have a loss—you can thank the Rams for that—we can finally admit that the San Francisco 49ers remain the team to beat in the NFC West. Even intermittently reviled, supposed game-manager Alex Smith had a huge day, and the 49ers combined offense (45 points against an underperforming Buffalo D) with defense (three points against the usually bubbly Buffalo O) in the course of improving to 4-1 and tying the Arizona Cardinals atop the NFC West standings.

That's just the St. Louis Rams' luck, of course—with the 49ers and the Seahawks both winning, their first trip over .500 since the baseball Cardinals' World Series win-before-last is the same moment at which the entire NFC West climbs over .500.

The Cardinals have proved tough on defense, and Kevin Kolb will be a competent quarterback if he can ever get any help from his running game (or, say, not be sacked nine times a start.) But the 49ers are near the top of the NFL leaderboard in points scored and points allowed—which is about where they were last year. And I'm not sure anybody else in the NFC West is prepared to deal with that kind of well-roundedness.

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