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NFL Schedule: Week 9 In The NFC West

The St. Louis Rams have tomorrow off, but the NFC West will continue apace—if the Seattle Seahawks lose to the 5-2 New York Giants the Rams could move back into a tie for first place. It'll be tough sledding for the Seahawks; the Giants have won their last four games after suffering consecutive losses to the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans.

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Since their outstanding 2008 season, in which they were third in football in points scored and fifth in points allowed, the Giants have struggled on defense—thanks in part to the departure of coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who has since plied his trade elsewhere—but continue to be among the best offensive teams in football. The Seahawks, whose offense is ranked 28th in the NFL, will be hard-pressed to exploit that continued defensive weakness; the Marshawn Lynch acquisition has been almost disastrous, and Matt Hasselbeck has looked old for most of the season. 

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The Arizona Cardinals could also pull into a tie with the Rams or Seahawks with a win Sunday against the beleaguered Minnesota Vikings, which shows just how wide open the NFC West is. The Vikings have played a little better than their record would indicate; like the Rams, they've lost a number of close games. But having shed Randy Moss, they'll need to hope that Brett Favre somehow continues to improve despite playing through the usual old-quarterback injuries. Last week's performance—22-for-32, 259 yards passing—was an excellent start, but expect to see more Adrian Peterson this week; the Cardinals are 29th in the league in rushing defense. 

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The Cardinals themselves have the continued results of their quarterback folly to contend with—Derek Anderson and Max Hall have traded snaps of late, and neither has shown himself to be an NFL quarterback. Anderson simply isn't accurate enough, and never was; Hall has struggled even more in limited time. Matt Leinart probably wouldn't have been good, but he certainly wouldn't have been this bad. 

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It's a wild week in the NFC West, even with the St. Louis Rams sitting at home—we could end up with three of its four teams stuck at 4-4 when the Rams travel to take on the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday. 

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