Why the NFC West deserves no respect

The San Francisco 49ers will not merely try to stop Drew Brees on Monday night.

They're going to stop him!

So says 49ers coach Mike Singletary, but it's a tough sell. The 49ers are playing a non-division game, after all, and that has been a losing proposition for the NFC West.

The first chart shows NFC West won-lost records and average point differentials for NFC West teams in non-division regular-season games since the 2009 openers. Seven of the 12 non-division victories came against the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. Two were against the Chicago Bears, one against the Minnesota Vikings and one against the New York Giants.

Seven of the 12 non-division victories came against NFC North teams.

NFC West Non-Division Performance Since 2009

The second chart shows won-lost records inside the division. The Rams have lost by far worse margins within the division than outside the division. They have lost non-division games against New Orleans, Houston, Jacksonville, Washington and Oakland by a total of 15 points.

NFC West Division Performance Since 2009