The 49ers remain atop the NFC West after Week 3, but the rest of the division is getting pretty murky, particularly with a Rams loss on Monday night.
There's an awfully good chance the San Francisco 49ers will be facing a similar situation as they did a year ago when the Seattle Seahawks (and no one else) were the primary challengers for the NFC West crown.
The Niners won the division, of course. And after a 3-0 start to 2023, it's looking as if San Francisco will stay in the proverbial driver's seat atop the NFC West for the rest of the year, too.
Although the 49ers and Hawks still have two games to play against each other.
The other two teams within the division, the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, trended in opposite directions over the course of the Week 3 weekend. LA, playing on Monday Night Football, scuffled on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals and lost 19-16, whereas the red birds shocked the conference by pulling off a surprising upset of the visiting Dallas Cowboys, 28-16.
Many would argue it takes at least four games to see a true pecking order within a division.
For the NFC West, though, it's looking as if three weeks have been enough.
Post-Week 3 NFC West standings: 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals all win but Rams lose
The Niners remain one of only three undefeated teams in the entire NFL, and neither of the other two are in the NFC West, so that obviously puts San Francisco into the top spot.
- San Francisco 49ers (3-0)
- Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
- Los Angeles Rams (1-2)
- Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
The 49ers already have an edge over LA with a victory in Week 2, so the worst the season series could go for head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad is in a 1-1 tie. Then, on Sunday, the Niners host the Cardinals, who still trail Los Angeles in the standings because both of their losses have come within the conference.
The Rams, meanwhile, are 1-1 within the NFC, which equates to a better win percentage and the tiebreaker for third place to date.
Again, Arizona will be at San Francisco in Week 4, while Los Angeles plays at the Indianapolis Colts. The Seahawks, meanwhile, wrap up Week 5 on Monday Night Football by visiting the New York Giants.