The final division of the 8 is the NFC West, which last season saw the 49ers come out of nowhere to win a division that many think is still the weakest in the NFL.
This year again this division has a lot of question marks, and today we wrap up our division previews with a look at the four teams, as well as who we think will walk away with the division.
1. San Francisco (10-6) – Last season new coach Jim Harbaugh got this team to step up and play over what many felt they would. Alex Smith finally showed signs of being a #1 QB, and the defense with some young players shined and the club was just a play or two away from the Super Bowl, losing to the Giants in the NFC Title game at home. The Niners will be back and looking good again this season, and you can count on 10 wins and another solid year from that D, which will keep this team in almost every game.
2. Seattle (8-8) – I love the guts it took Pete Carroll to sit $25 mil QB Matt Flynn and instead throw rookie Russell Wilson to the wolves in his first season under center. It’s a move that could either pay off big time, or bite Carroll in the behind as the season goes horribly wrong. I think it will pay off, Wilson has a ton of speed and potential, and he should come on as the season goes. It may be tough to watch early, but the Seahawks are going to surprise teams, and be a .500 team by years end.
3. St.Louis (6-10) – Jeff Fisher has a LOT of work to do in year one for the Rams, mostly with an offense that can’t seem to get out of their own way. Sam Bradford is starting to fall into a list of QB busts, and this year it’s Fisher’s job to change that. Steven Jackson is still one of the most underused RB’s in the game, and the defense has got to step up if the Rams are going to be competitive. I think this will be a year to weed out who belongs in St.Louis for Fisher and his crew.
4. Arizona (4-12) – John Skelton, seriously? The Cards are light years away from just four years ago when they were less than a minute from a Super Bowl win, and this year it’s not going to be any better in the desert. The QB situation is a mess, the defense is going to have its problems, and you can bet that this team is going to be near or at the top of the list for draft talk by mid-season. Sorry Cards fans, it’s not going to be pretty in 2012 in Glendale.