NFC West not half bad: Up 41-6 at halftime

It'll be a fun ride through the weekly NFC West predictions contest, where hopeful fans often predict with their hearts, not their heads.

The St. Louis Rams lead the New Orleans Saints, 17-0, at halftime. The Arizona Cardinals lead the Baltimore Ravens, 24-6, also at halftime.

The Rams and Cardinals spent most of this season looking like teams preparing to compete for the No. 1 overall choice in the 2012 draft. The Saints and Ravens have, at times, looked like Super Bowl contenders.

I'm seeing the Rams in particular play with attitude Sunday, as though they reached their breaking point and are finally doing something about it. The Cardinals have impressed with their ability to weather early pass-protection problems, and with their big-play ability. Larry Fitzgerald's 66-yard reception and Patrick Peterson's 82-yard punt return come to mind.

Both the Rams and Cardinals have made plays on special teams. Robert Quinn's blocked punt was a big play for St. Louis. Peterson's return was huge for Arizona.

Both teams need to finish strong. Blowing a huge lead and losing can be more deflating than losing a game the other team led throughout.