In one sense, the NFC West race took on a bit more clarity tonight as the Arizona Cardinals beat the St. Louis Rams 12-6.
That means that the equation for winning the NFC West for the Cardinals is now real simple — beat the Seahawks next Sunday in what will be one of the more-anticipated games in their recent history, and they win the division.
That’s because a win in that game would mean the Cardinals would be assured of having no worse than a 12-4 record, while a loss in that game would be at least the fifth for the Seahawks, who are 9-4 entering Sunday’s game against the 49ers.
But in another sense, it might have gotten a little muddied as the Cardinals lost quarterback Drew Stanton to a knee injury in the third quarter (on a play that snapped with 8:41 to go in the third). Stanton is Arizona’s second-string QB, playing in place of Carson Palmer, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
Ryan Lindley took over for Arizona and finished out the game, going 4-10 for 30 yards. Arizona also has rookie Logan Thomas on the roster.
Lindley has started four games in his career, all coming in 2012. He went 1-3 in his starts. He also played substantially when Arizona lost at Seattle 58-0 late in that season, though he did not start.
There was no specific update on Stanton’s knee after the game, leaving it unclear who will start against the Seahawks on Dec. 21, according to Arizona coach Bruce Arians:
"Have no idea what the extent of Stanton's knee injury is." – @BruceArians
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 12, 2014
As for the updated NFC West Standings, here they are:
San Francisco 7-6
St. Louis 6-8