Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The NFC West's standings won't move at the margins with the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams sitting through Week 9.
The NFC West is the 2012 NFL in miniature, so far, universally competent but not exactly fun to watch, and that won't change at what passes for its extremes on Sunday: The first-place San Francisco 49ers and last-place St. Louis Rams each have a bye week, leaving the 4-4 Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks to duke it out for second place.
Behind the placid exterior, of course, there's a little more going on. The Cardinals were 4-0 until they ran into the Rams' geared-up defense in Week 5, and since then they've lost four in a row; their last chance to pull out of the tailspin before their own bye week comes against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau, which is a very tough assignment.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks have been muddling along all season—with a league-27th 140 points scored and a third-overall 134 allowed they look like a born 4-4 team. Marshawn Lynch has been great, but the decision to start rookie Russell Wilson looks about as prescient as the decision to start Tarvaris Jackson did last year.
In Week 10, the Rams and the 49ers will reconvene, and then things will finally either explode or come even closer together—when they play each other. Things are pretty boring in the NFC West right this instant, but like anything else they'll come to a head sooner or later.