How I See It: NFC West Stock Watch


1. Max Hall, Cardinals QB. Completing 4 of 16 passes before suffering a concussion knocked down Hall's stock considerably even though this was only his second NFL start. Hall struggled in the wet, windy conditions at Qwest Field. He looked better against New Orleans two weeks earlier and he'll need to look better against Tampa Bay in Week 8. At least he won't have to worry about wrapping his small hands around a cold, wet football.

2. David Carr, 49ers QB. The 49ers have given Alex Smith five-plus seasons to prove himself as a legitimate NFL starting quarterback. They gave Carr six games on the bench and 13 pass attempts against Carolina before deciding he wasn't the answer against Denver in Week 8. Carr is earning more than $3 million per season from the 49ers. One question: Why?

3. Tim Hightower, Cardinals RB. Hightower ran hard and ran effectively against Seattle, but he lost a fumble for the third time this season and the seventh time in his last 20 games. The Cardinals' margin for error is too slim to tolerate regular turnovers. Hightower could lose his starting job as a result.


1. Mike Williams, Seahawks WR. Twenty-one receptions over two games would pump up the stock for just about any wide receiver. Williams has become a force on third down. He has nine third-down receptions, eight for first downs, during the Seahawks' recent victories over Arizona and Chicago.

2. Troy Smith, 49ers QB. Smith figured to get playing time at some point once the 49ers knew Alex Smith would miss games. But right away? The 49ers like what Smith offers in the leadership department and they've got nothing to lose at this point. Offensive coordinator Mike Johnson worked with Smith in Baltimore. Will the rapport help on game days?

3. Beanie Wells, Cardinals RB. The Cardinals haven't named Wells their starter for Week 8, but he stands to benefit from lost playing time for Hightower. Wells did not find much running room against the Seahawks, but the Cardinals know he can run the ball. They need to see him make strides in other areas. Wells did make an exceptional catch on a pass out of the backfield.