Around the NFC West: About those fans

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams guard Richie Incognito tried to clarify remarks critical of fans. Coach Jim Haslett and the front office came to the fans' defense.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom will welcome his formerly estranged half-brother, Steve, to St. Louis for a ceremony honoring their late father.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have taken steps to wear their 1999 throwback jerseys during the 2009 season.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams hope to contain Bears return man Devin Hester. Kicker Josh Brown and punter Donnie Jones are two of the best at their positions, setting up a competitive matchup.

Also from Korte: Incognito used the term "come hither" in summoning reporters to his locker for a session designed to clarify barbs directed at fans. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic singles out pass protection as a key variable for the Cardinals against the Giants.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says an aggressive approach to defense has helped the Cardinals force more turnovers than any other team in the league.

Also from Tulumello: a look at running back J.J. Arrington.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com also sees pass protection as a key variable for Arizona. The Giants' Antonio Pierce says he cares about quarterback hits, not sacks.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers safety Michael Lewis faces a tough test against Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers' Allen Rossum ranks among the NFL's leading return men, but Rossum hasn't bothered to check the stats yet.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat breaks down key matchups for the 49ers-Cowboys game. He expects Manny Lawson to cover Witten.

Also from Maiocco: says the 49ers have a 3-26 record since 2003 in games kicking off at 10 a.m. PT. They'll try to make it 4-26 against the Cowboys.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times uses the term "Seahawks East" to describe the Redskins under first-year head coach Jim Zorn.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks aren't used to losing. Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu hasn't suffered through a losing season in football since age 7.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks face a challenge this week with two games and one road trip in a five-day period.

Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks' special teams have quietly improved after a rough start to the season.