In Week 11 with the St. Louis Rams on their bye week, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-14 on the road to increase their current win streak to three games. The Seattle Seahawks stayed perfect at home in a blowout 41-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings. The San Francisco 49ers blew a six-point lead late in the fourth quarter in a 23-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Here is a glimpse at one aspect from what each NFC West team did in Week 11:
In arguably his best game as a Cardinal this season, the 11-year veteran threw for 419 yards and his third consecutive two-touchdown pass game on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were coming off their first win of the season. Palmer had his first touchdown in the first quarter on a 19-yard catch from Larry Fitzgerald that tied the game at seven. His second came on a 91-yard reception by Michael Floyd to extend Arizona’s lead to 10 points midway through the third quarter. In Week 11,he methodically tore the Jaguars’ defense apart as he averaged 10.0 yards per completed pass. Palmers’ ability to lead his team to their third straight victory has kept them in the thick of things for not only a playoff position, but also for a shot to win the NFC West as they kept pace with the division-leading Seahawks. The Cardinals face a tough task next week as they play the AFC South division-leading Indianapolis Colts lead by Andrew Luck.
In Week 11, Lynch had a nose for the end zone as he scored three touchdowns with two coming on the ground and one through the air. Beast Mode did not have a great game gaining yards as he only ran for 57 yards and caught two receptions for a total of nine yards. Lynch showed his worth in the red zone as all of his scores came within the 10-yard line. His first score on the ground came came on a 4-yard run to put Seattle up 10-3 to end the first quarter and his second came midway through the second quarter on a 1-yard rush to increase his team’s lead to 17-3. Lynch’s final end zone visit came on a six-yard pass from Russell Wilson that gave the Seahawks a 31-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. The seven-year veteran has proven to be Seattle’s No.1 option at running back in a run-first offense by his consistent production each week. Lynch is currently on pace to score 13 regular season rushing touchdowns, which is one more better than his career-high 12 that he set in 2011 with the Seahawks.
In Week 12 it will be interesting to see if Lynch can continue his success in the rushing game against the New Orleans Saints, who are ranked 23rd against the run, but despite their struggles against the rush they were able to limit 49ers running back Frank Gore to 48 yards on the ground and out of the end zone.
Although he only passed for 127 yards, Kaepernick was able to throw for two touchdowns against the third ranked pass defense that allows just 191.4 yard per game. The third-year quarterback threw his first touchdown on a 11-yard catch by Anquan Boldin to tie the game at 7 in the second quarter and his second came on a 17-yard reception by Vernon Davis in the third quarter. Kaepernick was able to orchestrate two other scoring drives ending with field goal attempts of 55 yards and of 29 yards from Phil Dawson. He was able to lead his team to put up 20 points against one of the league’s best defense, but it proved not to be enough as the Saints scored the game’s last nine points and won in the final seconds on a game-winning 31-yard field goal. Week 11’s loss to New Orleans sends San Francisco to their second straight loss as it is another game behind the Seahawks in the race for the NFC West crown and places them in the sixth and final playoff spot with a 6-4 record.
What this all makes for is an important Monday night game in Week 12 for Kaepernick and the 49ers against the Washington Redskins, as they look to stay in the mix for a playoff spot and in the hunt for their third consecutive NFC West division title.
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