We should learn a lot more about the pecking order in the NFC West when the San Francisco 49ers travel to Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.
Are the 49ers for real?
Can the Rams snap a two-game slide?
We know already that the NFC West is shaping up to be the toughest division in the NFL, with the Seahawks (4-1), Niners (4-0) and Rams (3-2) all looking like playoff-caliber teams. The NFC West has a 12-6-1 record overall, matching the NFC North for the league’s best divisional record.
Those three NFC West teams are, of course, included in this week’s Times’ Ten, with seven of the 10 spots overall belonging to NFC teams.
1. New England Patriots (5-0)
The Patriots have not allowed a passing touchdown yet this season, posting a 0-to-11 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Opposing QBs have a rating of 44.0 against the New England defense.
2. New Orleans Saints (4-1)
Since Teddy Bridgewater took over, the Saints are 3-0 with quality wins over the Seahawks, Cowboys and Buccaneers.
3. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
For three quarters in Dallas, the Packers looked like maybe the best team in football on Sunday.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
Wait, is Patrick Mahomes human after all?
5. Seattle Seahawks (4-1)
Hawks head to Cleveland looking for their first 3-0 start on the road since 1980.
6. San Francisco 49ers (4-0)
The Niners’ defensive line looks mighty formidable … or could it be that the Brown’ offensive line is just that bad?
7. Los Angeles Rams (3-2)
It’s only Week 6, but this feels like a must-win home game against the 49ers for the reigning NFC champs.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
The next three games — all on the road — could make or break the Eagles’ season, with trips to Minnesota, Dallas and Buffalo.
9. Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
In back-to-back losses to New Orleans and Green Bay, Dak Prescott has two TDs against four interceptions. One easy to bounce-back recipe: play the Jets.
10. Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Because somebody has to be the (distant) third-best team in the AFC.