2016 NFC West Preview
2015 record: 13-3 (first in NFC West)
Key acquisitions: DT Robert Nkemdiche, DE Jason Babin
Key losses: NONE
W2W4: A team with a high-flying offense that doesn’t lose anyone, only gets healthy and adds some key pieces on defense, thats a recipe for success. With the brain of Bruce Arians at the helm and an experienced QB under center leads me to believe the NFC West is the Cardinals to lose. Re-signing Larry Fitzgerald for possibly his last season and the continued development of John Brown makes the air attack lethal. Their biggest challenge will be winning on the road in some tough environments including division rival, Seattle.
2015 record: 10-6 (second in NFC West, wild card berth)
Key losses: RB Marshawn Lynch (Retirement)
W2W4: These past few seasons, there has been little question as to whether the Seahawks would make the playoffs, the biggest question was always if they were a true Super Bowl contender or not. This could be one of the first down seasons in half a decade for the boys from Seattle. The retirement of Lynch leaves massive question marks on the running game, and with the focus now squarely on the shoulders of Russell Wilson, how he responds is going to make or break their season.
Los Angeles Rams
2015 record: 7-9 (third in the NFC West)
Key acquisitions: QB Jared Goff
Key losses: Janoris Jenkins
W2W4: While the drafting of Goff number one overall in the draft and moving from St. Louis back to LA are the two highlights of the offseason for the Rams, they still have some waiting to do before they reach their full potential. While I think Case Keenum is a quality NFL QB that most teams would kill to have (I’m looking at you, Denver) he certainly is not going to win them a Super Bowl on his own. It certainly helps having one of the best running backs in the game lined up behind him and a formidable defense and arguably the best defensive line in the game. The Rams are close, but not there yet. Jeff Fisher has made it abundantly clear that Goff won’t see much of the field, if at all, but if the Rams get off to a slow start, I would not be surprised to see the rookie, and if he lives up to the hype, could bring some sparks to a lackluster passing game.
San Fransisco 49ers
2015 record: 5-11 (fourth in the NFC West)
Key acquisitions: Chip Kelly??, RB Reggie Bush
Key losses: DL Justin Smith (Retirement)
W2W4: Colin Kaepernick has been all over the headlines lately for his boycott of the National Anthem, for good or for bad, I guess the saying holds true “any press is good press.” The problem remains for the 49ers, they just haven’t gotten any better. They bring in Chip Kelly to run the show, and just like with the Eagles, he is handed the reigns. The good news for Kelly is that he is starting at the bottom and it really cannot get any worse. Their $100 million QB is still on the bench, their starting running back cannot stay on the field and their defense has more holes than Swiss cheese. Chip’s offensive style could bring a spark to a relatively dull team, but they will have a hard time winning games with their lack of talent. It would appear they are headed for another last place finish.
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