The NFC West contains the past two NFC conference champions. This year for sure there will be some very big football games in the NFC west. The Seahawks and 49ers are coming off a meeting in the NFC Title Game while the Rams and Cardinals are looking to jump out of the cellar doors.
1.) Seattle Seahawks
2013 Record: (13-3, Won Super Bowl)
2014 Projection: 12-4
The Legion of Boom took the nation by storm last year and is the most intimidating defensive unit in the league. Say what you want to say about Russell Wilson. He’s a leader and gets the job done. Pete Carroll also has the offensive weapons of Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch to work with as well. Although there are a couple loops in the schedule, the Seahawks will repeat as NFC West and Super Bowl champions this year.
2.) San Fransisco 49ers
2013 Record: 12-4 (Lost in NFC Championship)
2014 Projection: 11-5
The 49ers offense will be fun to watch as always. Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, and a healthy Brandon Lloyd are all going to put up quality numbers and Colin Kaepernick has great chemistry with his recievers. The main concern for San Fran will be defense. Now, I know the 49ers defense is a substantial defense, but Aldon Smith’s suspension and a lack of depth in the secondary could posion the defense as well. The 49ers still get into the playoffs in my opinion but they have to be consistent.
3.) Arizona Cardinals
2013 Record: 10-6 (MIssed playoffs)
2014 Projection: 10-6
I can’t see Arizona changing too much. The Cardinals have great depth in their roster but Carson Palmer worries me. How much gas is in his tank? Palmer still has it in him but in my view if he doesn’t get it done this year, he’s done. The Cards’ defense is strong and aggressive. Todd Bowles could emerge as a head coach candidate after this year. Larry Foote will also lead the Cards’ defense and try to replicate the success he had in Pittsburgh. Arizona could sneak in as a six seed but there are other teams that will compete for that spot.
4.) St. Louis Rams
2013 Record: 7-9
2014 Record: 5-11
One word describes the problem with the St. Louis Rams: quarterback. The Rams’ offense lost Sam Bradford for the year due to injury. Tavon Austin, Brian Quick, and Austin Pettis will need a reliable signal caller to produce. Shaun Hill will start in week one but Case Keenum could see some time down the stretch as well. The defensive front led by Robert Quinn and Chris Long will continue to dominate and shut down the point of attack and pave the way to winning for the Rams. At the end of the day though, offense will dictate this team’s record.