Grading the NFC West: Week 3

Handing out grades to the 49ers' three divisional rivals in the NFC West for their performances in Week 3 games.


Cardinals report card: Seattle 13, Arizona 10


PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Kevin Kolb had two passes intercepted deep in Seahawks territory, and Larry Fitzgerald didn't catch a pass in the second half. Kolb completed 25 of 39 but missed some open receivers.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- Beanie Wells didn't play, and the Cardinals could sustain nothing. They converted just 3 of 14 third-down situations, including two key third-and-inches plays.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- They sacked Tarvaris Jackson four times but none in the second half. Jackson ran the no-huddle well, leading the Seahawks to a touchdown.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- Marshawn Lynch pounded away for Seattle, and should have got more than 19 attempts. The Cardinals yielded runs of 23 and 21 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The coverage teams did an excellent job and kick returner A.J. Jefferson nearly broke a long one. But Jay Feely missed two field goals in a game that was decided by three points.

COACHING: D -- The defense looked better, but then Seattle's offense is horrible, so it might not mean much. Offensively, it was hard to discern a game plan. Lots of two tight end formations, but it didn't produce much. The no huddle led to a touchdown and the Cardinals never committed to it again.


Rams report card: Baltimore 37, St. Louis 7


PASSING OFFENSE: F -- Five sacks, numerous other hits and an 11.8 passer rating in the first half for QB Sam Bradford has to produce a failing grade. Dropped passes again were an issue, but as the game quickly got out of hand in the first quarter, the passing offense wasn't able to respond. The Rams converted just 1-of-8 third-down opportunities in the first half, and Bradford failed to complete any of his third-down passes. The only success on third down was a two-yard run on third-and-1.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- Not that it mattered, but when the Rams ran, there was some production. Cadillac Williams had 75 yards on 18 attempts, and in a limited role, Steven Jackson rushed for 23 yards on four carries, although 12 came on a third-and-18 give-up play. Jerious Norwood, who received most of the reps in practice because of injuries to Jackson and Williams, never carried the ball from scrimmage.

PASS DEFENSE: F -- In addition to the big plays from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith, the Rams had no answer for the Ravens' short game. Tight ends and running backs combined for 14 receptions for 156 yards. Screens to RBs Ray Rice (5-83) and Ricky Williams (1-11) accounted for 94 yards. The pass rush got to Flacco only twice for a loss of four yards, and he escaped pressure to run seven times.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- Generally, the run defense wasn't bad, but two big plays accounted for 81 yards. Aside from a 53-yard run, Rice had seven attempts for 26 yards. Williams was 4-for-14 without a 28-yard run. But the Ravens rarely ran, and when big plays occur with alarming regularity, it makes the other good play meaningless.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- P Donnie Jones got off to a sluggish start, as his first four punts were 41 (two) and 39 (two) yards. The Rams allowed a 29-yard punt return and a 37-yard kickoff return. Jerious Norwood had a 31-yard return for the Rams. In a game that was essentially over after one quarter, special teams weren't a factor.

COACHING: F -- This was a total team failure, starting with the coaching staff. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo said they weren't prepared for the Ravens' deep passing game, but they allowed CB Justin King to continue to be targeted after the touchdown on Baltimore's second play from scrimmage. The Rams' third play from scrimmage was an end-around to TE Lance Kendricks. In the Monday night game against the Giants, Spagnuolo's explanation for not throwing on fourth-and-28 and down 12 points on the team's final possession was because the game was over in his mind and he wanted to protect Bradford. However, down 23 points and with the Ravens still blitzing, Spagnuolo kept a beat-up Bradford in the game.


Seahawks report card: Seattle 13, Arizona 10


PASSING OFFENSE: C -- The Seahawks received a big boost from the return of Sidney Rice, who finished with eight catches for 109 yards in his debut. However, Mike Williams finished without a reception and was targeted just once. Jackson finished 18 of 31 for 171 yards, with one interception, and was sacked four times.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- Marshawn Lynch finally go on track, rushing for 73 yards on 19 carries. The Seahawks totaled 122 yards on 30 carries for a 4.1 per-carry average.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Seattle held Arizona to 234 passing yards and forced Kevin Kolb to throw two interceptions to cornerback Marcus Trufant and safety Kam Chancellor -- Seattle's first two turnovers of the season. The Seahawks also finished with three sacks on the day.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- The Seahawks held the Cardinals to 90 yards rushing on 28 carries for a per-carry average of 3.2 yards. Seattle has yet to allow a running back to rush for 100 yards this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus -- Seattle gave up another long kickoff return, with A.J. Jefferson breaking loose for a 51-yard return. And Jon Ryan struggled punting the ball in the rain, with 9-yard and 28-yard punts, although he did finish with three punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

COACHING: B -- After an 0-2 start, Pete Carroll rallied the troops and got them ready to beat a so-so Arizona squad in Seattle's first home game. Now, the Seahawks will receive another tough test with NFC South champion Atlanta coming to town looking to rebound from a 16-13 loss at Tampa Bay last week.


Niners Digest Top Stories