The NFC West always seems to find a way to be interesting, doesn't it? The rivalries, the quarterbacks, the persistent ability to produce legitimate Super Bowl contenders ... there's always something going on in that division, and so far this year is no exception.
Following Sunday's action, the Seattle Seahawks are all alone in first place in the NFC West -- the only one of the division's four teams with a winning record. An impressive victory over the Chargers in Los Angeles moved Geno Smith, Kenneth Walker III & Co. to 4-3, a half game ahead of the idle Los Angeles Rams and one full game in front of the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals.
You remember the Seahawks, right? The team that traded away Russell Wilson for a bunch of picks and players, then staged a training camp QB competition between Smith and Drew Lock, while the whole world expected them to trade for Baker Mayfield or claim Jimmy Garoppolo once he got released (which he never did). This was thought to be one of the worst teams in the league coming into the season -- a true contender for the No. 1 overall pick, which we all assumed they would use to draft their quarterback of the future.
Well, a funny thing happened on the way to C.J. Stroud. The Seahawks seem to have done a really good job developing Smith in a backup role behind Wilson all of those years, and Smith has stepped in and delivered one of the surprise performances of the season so far. A 210-yard, two-touchdown performance Sunday, combined with 168 rushing yards and a pair of scores from rookie running back Walker, helped the Seahawks put up 37 on a Chargers defense that was supposed to be one of the stronger units in the league.
And you know what's really funny about all of this? The Seahawks could have a chance to get that No. 1 overall pick anyway, since they have Denver's first-round pick and the Broncos just lost their fourth game in a row to fall to 2-5.
Just goes to show, you never know about a season until you get into it a little ways and figure out ... that's right ... which preseason predictions were overreactions and which ones were not.
Let's start this week out west.