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Around The NFC West - Week Five

A look at the Cardinals' divisional opponents, as well as upcoming foe Denver

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San Francisco wide receiver Stevie Johnson makes a touchdown catch against Philadelphia last weekend.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Last time out: 49ers 26, Eagles 21

Record: 2-2, 0-1 in division

Snapshot: The 49ers struggled mightily after intermission in their first three games but scored 13 unanswered second-half points in this one to rally past Philadelphia. Phil Dawson kicked a 46-yard field goal in the third quarter to give San Francisco the lead, and the Eagles couldn't convert on two passes from the 1-yard-line in the waning minutes.

Notable: The San Francisco defense didn't allow a point, as the Eagles scored their touchdowns on a Darren Sproles punt return, an interception return by Malcolm Jenkins and a blocked punt recovery in the end zone by Brad Smith. Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles finished 21-of-43 for 195 yards and two interceptions. 49ers safety Antoine Bethea had an interception and a forced fumble.

Quotable: Linebacker Ahmad Brooks, via 49ers.com, on the victory after the slow start: "People might point fingers here and there. But, at the end of the day, we control our own destiny. The coaches, they're here to coach. But we're here as players to execute what they give us to execute. We've got to make the best out of it. We haven't been performing like we normally perform. We took the onus on ourselves to handle the responsibility of getting the win."

Key number: 55. The distance on running back Frank Gore's second-quarter touchdown reception, the longest of his career. Gore added 24 carries for 119 yards in his more traditional role.

Next up: The 49ers host the Chiefs on Sunday

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Last time out: The Seahawks were idle in Week 4

Record: 2-1

Bye week synopsis:Seattle was upset in its second game of the season by the Chargers, but still looks like the best team in the NFL. The Seahawks' two victories have come over the Packers and Broncos, and while the defense has allowed an average of 22 points per game, it has faced three of the best quarterbacks in the league. The running game is averaging 148 yards per contest as Marshawn Lynch continues to play well, while quarterback Russell Wilson does not have overwhelming passing numbers but has six touchdowns against one interception and keeps a good grasp of the offense. There are no glaring holes on the roster and the early-season loss to San Diego looked like a hiccup, not a sign of future concern.

Next up: The Seahawks travel to Washington in Week 5

ST. LOUIS RAMS

Last time out: The Rams were idle in Week 4

Record: 1-2

Bye week synopsis:The Rams have looked better the past two weeks after a blowout loss in the opener to Minnesota, but couldn't hang on to a 21-point home lead against the Cowboys. St. Louis has little margin for error, and losing close games like that will immensely hurt their chances. Third-string quarterback Austin Davis has shown flashes of potential, but it's the defense which the Rams will rely on to win games. So far, the vaunted defensive line has only one sack through three games – by rookie Aaron Donald – and must become a more disruptive force to keep this team afloat. The schedule is brutal the next eight weeks, as the Rams have road games against the Eagles, Cardinals, 49ers, Chargers and Chiefs while hosting the Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos.

Next up: The Rams travel to Philadelphia in Week 5

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: DENVER BRONCOS

Last time out: The Broncos were idle in Week 4

Record: 2-1

Bye week synopsis: The Broncos suffered their first loss of the season in Week 3, although their Super Bowl rematch against the Seahawks was much more competitive this time around. Quarterback Peyton Manning engineered a masterful drive late in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but the defense allowed a touchdown on the first possession to end the contest. Manning's numbers (74-of-111, 814 yards, 8 TD, INT) aren't as otherworldly as a year ago, but he's still one of the best signal callers in the game. The Broncos have struggled to run the ball early, and the task doesn't get easier against the Cardinals' stout run defense this week. Denver re-tooled this offseason to take aim at another Super Bowl run, and with wins over the Colts and Chiefs early on, remain among the NFL elite heading into Week 5.



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