The NFC West is almost always looked at as the weakest division in the league. With only one team that many feel is even close to making a real run in the playoffs, this division for the past few has been filled with quite a few “what ifs.” That leads us to this season, and again the age old question if anyone other than the Seahawks is worthly of making it to the playoffs. Here we go with our look at the NFC West.
Seattle Seahawks 11-5: It’s the swan song for coach Mike Holmgren, and the Hawks are the usual steady team in the division and conference that no one really talks about. They have a bit of a new look in the backfield, and Shaun Alexander is gone, and the team has instead Juilus Jones and T.J. Duckett, though Duckett has reportedly not looked good so far. The defense is pretty solid, and this team is tough as nails to beat at home, going 7-1 there last year after going just 5-3 at home the year before. Once again the Hawks will fly into the playoffs and be a thorn is someones side come January.
Arizona Cardinals 9-7: Here’s a vote that the Cardinals finally take that next step and make a serious run at the postseason. They have a wealth of talent on offense, even with Anquan Boldin unhappy about his contract. They need Matt Leinart to finally start playing like a QB that wants to reach the next level. The defense will be the part of the team that needs to play better, and after allowing 399 points last year, this unit will be counted on to make its mark. The team also needs to play better away from Glendale, going just 2-6 last year.
San Francisco 49’ers 6-10: I have no idea as to what direction this franchise is heading, as after drafting QB Alex Smith with the number one pick three years ago, and then re-signing QB Shaun Hill after two starts last year, they are giving the QB job to….drum roll…..J.T. O’Sullivan?! They brought in Mike Martz to revamp the offense, and based on reports, it’s still going to be a struggle for this team to move the football. The defense is good, but nowhere near good enough to win this team more than six games. Mike Nolan, it was nice knowing ya.
St.Louis Rams 5-11: Another team that is challenged on offense, the Rams have issues in that department, as well as when it comes to simply staying healthy. They have talent, with Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson and Torry Holt, but just can’t seem to put it all together under Scott Linehan. They need Jackson and Bulger to both have huge seasons to take some of the pressure off the younger players, but the other issue is the O-line is not very good, and is already banged up entering the season. We could see a coaching change here as well in 2009.