Examining The Fraud Content Of Every NFC Division Leader After 5 Weeks

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Can they keep this up?: Yes, but …

The Cardinals need to prove they can make in-season adjustments or risk fading like they did in 2019 and 2020. Arizona’s 3-3-1 start in Kyler Murray’s first season devolved into a 5-10-1 record. One year later, a 6-3 start backslid to 8-8 and a spot as the first team out of the playoffs.

Arizona is better insulated from a decline than in years past. Offensive line upgrades mean Murray has a better chance to finish the season healthy after 2020 was doomed by a shoulder injury that limited his ability to make throws downfield. Drafting Rondale Moore and adding A.J. Green in free agency gives Murray additional options in case opponents decide to throw all their defensive skill points at stopping DeAndre Hopkins.

The Cardinal defense continues to grow as well, going from a top 20 unit in ’19 to top 10 in ’20 to top five to start the year. That group forced Matthew Stafford into his worst performance of the season (6.8 yards per attempt in a 17-point loss) and held three different opponents to fewer than 205 net passing yards in five games. Time will tell if this impressive start can hold up.

Can the rest of the division catch up?: Whew, yeah.

The Rams looked like the best team in football before Arizona beat them by 17. LA shook that off and came back the next week to handle the Seahawks in Seattle. With a top two passing offense and a top six rushing defense despite a spate of tailback injuries, there’s a good argument the Rams are, at worst, a top two team in the NFC.

The Seahawks are the Seahawks, which means Russell Wilson will carry them to victory in games they should not win and be immensely let down by his defense and/or offensive line in losses to teams who should not beat them. They will win nine or 10 or 11 games and do just enough to devastate anyone who picks them in the postseason.

The 49ers are once again beset by injury and have only beaten the Lions and Eagles, but their three losses have all come by seven points or fewer. They’ve got a bye week to get healthy and get Trey Lance some extra prep work at quarterback. If he can prove himself as a big-armed alternative to Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco is back in business.

Fraud content: 5 percent. This team looks very, very legit. If it falls from its perch, it probably won’t be a roster construction issue but a matter of injury or the rest of the West roaring to life and reeling them in. They’ve still got to convince the world at large, however; they’re three point underdogs vs. 3-2 Cleveland in Week 6.

Source : https://ftw.usatoday.com/lists/examining-the-fraud-content-of-every-nfc-division-leader-after-5-weeks

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Examining the fraud content of every NFC division leader after 5 weeks

Source:USA Today

Examining the fraud content of every NFC division leader after 5 weeks

NFL Week 3 takeaways: What we learned, big reaction questions and stat leaders for every game

Source:ESPN

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