Before the 2012 season started, how many people predicted the NFC West to have the best division in football after the first five games of the season? Many knew San Francisco would be the class of the division, as they returned all 11 starters on defense, but who would have predicted that after Week 5 every NFC West member would be above .500?
I follow this division very closely, and I would have never predicted it. The Cardinals and the Rams are really the two mystery teams to me. I thought both St. Louis and Arizona would finish around 6-10 and struggle all year long. John Skelton is hard to believe in, and Coach Fisher's defense was in shambles when he took over.
Regardless, a 14-6 record as a division is no easy task, considering every team has played at least one division game except for the 49ers. They don't play their first divisional game until Week 7. Another interesting stat-line that caught my eye was the fact that NFC West teams are 10-0 when defending their home turf. Every other division has at least two home losses.
What do all these numbers mean going forward? It means the West has four top-notch defenses and every week will be an absolute dog fight. Week 6 doesn't feature any divisional games, but it does have a couple intriguing matchups. Tom Brady will be in Seattle for the first time in his career, and San Francisco has some unfinished business to take care of from the NFC Championship game last year.
With that, let's take a look at even more NFC West news.
Kase Brammer of RantSports.com says the Arizona Cardinals' long week should help them prepare for a reeling Buffalo Bills team.
John Rozum of Bleacher Report looks at whether Arizona wasted a draft pick on wide receiver Michael Floyd.
San Francisco 49ers
Steve Corkran of the MercuryNews.com breaks down Kyle Williams of the 49ers and says he is doing everything he can to redeem himself.
Jesse Reed of Bleacher Report gives us his arguments as to why San Francisco is the best team in football.
Eric D. Williams of The Bellingham Herald shows that Sidney Rice's numbers are on the rise weekly.
Alex Field of Bleacher Report ranks the biggest winners and losers from Week 5.
St. Louis Rams
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch dishes on the Rams defense and its insider theme.
Zach Kruse of Bleacher Report breaks down Steve Smith's role now that Danny Amendola is out.