For the past few seasons, the NFC West has held the title of being the toughest division in the league. With the collapse of the San Francisco 49ers, will that still hold up?
1. Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals managed to make the playoffs without a quarterback. Carson Palmer went down with an injury halfway through the season and backup Drew Stanton didn’t even finish the season before being injured. The fact that they went 11-5 despite all of that shows how good of a team they can be. If they stay healthy this season, then Arizona will be one of the best teams not just in the NFC, but in the whole NFL.
Prediction: 12-4, 2nd in NFC
2. Seattle Seahawks: Can the Seahawks make it to their third straight Super Bowl? Absolutely. Will they? That’s an entirely different matter.
We know the Seahawks have a fantastic defense, but the offense prompts some questions. Is quarterback Russell Wilson worth the $88 million he signed for in the offseason? The acquisition of tight end Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints was huge and could be one of the main reasons this team makes another Super Bowl run. Needless to say, it was a tough call between Seattle and Arizona for the division title.
Prediction: 11-5, 5th in NFC
3. St. Louis Rams: The Rams decided to take more security at the quarterback position by trading Sam Bradford away to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Nick Foles. With some decent teams over the past few seasons, St. Louis realizes that they can make a playoff run with a healthy QB at the helm, and that is exactly what Foles can provide for this team. The division is too top-heavy to compete now, but I think we could be seeing more of the Rams down the line.
4. San Francisco 49ers: Oh boy, this has all the makings for a disaster of monstrous proportions. Not only did this team drive Jim Harbaugh away, they lost Frank Gore to the Indianapolis Colts and the whole defense basically retired. All that is left is quarterback Colin Kaepernick and tight end Vernon Davis. I wonder if they can play all the other positions, because that’s what it’ll take for this team to not finish with one of the worst records in the league.
Prediction: 3-13, top pick in 2016 NFL Draft
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Matt Weingarten