Besides the obvious teams (DAL, ATL, GB, and SEA) the NFC itself is literally a crap chute. Yet, there is one division that is the bottom of the preverbal pile of manure. Ladies and gentlemen, the shame of the National Football League, I present to you the NFC West breakdown.
Let’s start off with the diamond in the rough… well… sort of. Born and raised a 49ers fan, it pains me to say that for the last 4-5 seasons, Seattle has dominated the NFC West. With a record of 10-5-1 in 2016, the Seahawks were the ONLY team to have an above .500 record in the west. Seattle has missed the presence of Marshawn Lynch these last two seasons, but have proven they are more than just the team that has “Beast Mode.”
The defense led by a very skilled, albeit annoying Richard Sherman and friends like Cam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, have continued to terrorize teams by forcing turnovers and leaving opposing quarterbacks lying on the ground wondering when the clock is finally going to hit zero.
Wilson continues to impress by posting a 64.7 percent completion rate last season to go with 4,219 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air. While there isn’t one particular standout running back, Pete Carroll has been able to utilize a diverse backfield, and his QB’s legs always seem to produce enough yards on the ground to make the offense a dual threat and leave opposing defenses guessing.
It is obvious this team is going to continue dominating the west for the foreseeable future… I just got sick to my stomach typing that.
Arizona was the second-best team in the west with a 7-8-1 record. The tie with the Seahawks made them an under .500 team, but there are spots on the roster that show much promise for the upcoming season, starting with a solid defense.
There were some rough games for the Cardinals defense last season, but they were able to post some pretty impressive statistics. The defense was able to create over 40 turnovers last season with 16 interceptions and 28 fumbles recovered, giving their offense ample opportunity to score.
Speaking of the offense, thanks mostly to David Johnson’s outstanding 2016 season, Carson Palmer was able to put up some decent statistics for a now 37-year old QB with a very strange and inconsistent career. It’s obvious he’s found a home with Arizona and will continue to produce so long as Johnson remains a major threat. Checkout our article on Johnson and why he is the number one fantasy player to draft.
Not much has changed in the offseason with the Cardinals so we can expect more of the same? Probably, the huge issue Arizona had last season was consistency. They started 3-3, they ended 3-3. In back-to-back games with the Saints and the Rams, the Cardinals put up 85 points, then gave up 86 points to the Falcons and Saints the following weeks. With the same coaching staff at the helm and a roster that lost only 2 key players, the Cardinals have zero excuses not to be above .500 this season.
Los Angeles Rams
Hallelujah! The NFL has returned to the City of Angels. Pop quiz for the readers, feel free to comment below… what happens when you move a failing, dismal and just down-right pitiful NFL franchise to Los Angeles and put them on a college gridiron, while they wait for an atrocity of a stadium to be built in one of the worst parts of LA? Nothing… absolutely nothing.
The Rams offense was beyond inept last season putting up 4,565 yards… that’s total… an entire offense… rushing and passing! After drafting Jared Goff first overall in the draft, it was decided by Jeff Fisher and company that he was not ready and instead gave the starting job to Case Keenum. This was probably the only thing the Rams did right in 2016. Only problem is… it’s Case Keenum, and even if he was the better choice at that moment, he is never a right choice in any moment. Add that to the absolutely horrendous season Todd Gurley dry-heaved out (believe me I know… last time I ever pick a Rams RB in the first round of a fantasy draft) it was absolutely painful watching this offense attempt to play in 2016.
At this point, maybe a new city will be a breath of fresh air and a little kick in the behind for this team. But in my humble opinion nothing too special will be coming from the Rams this season. Could it get any worse in the NFC West than the Rams? Oh, wait a minute… it can.
San Francisco (Santa Clara) 49ers
The Santa Clara 49ers… that’s right folks I said Santa Clara, it’s not a typo. As far as I am concerned… this franchise is not the red and gold that brought so many memories and so much great football to the fans and to the great city of San Francisco. Ever since the move to a horrendously misplaced and over-hyped stadium, the 49ers have been in a downward spiral and look even worse than after drafting Alex Smith first overall in 2002.
The last two seasons the 49ers have played musical coaches with two of the worst professional coaches in the league. Well, one of the worst, the other one was a DEFENSIVE LINE COACH. Yes, that isn’t a typo either. Jim Tonsula was selected as the sacrificial lamb after Jim Harbaugh was fired because he took the team to 3 NFC Championship games… in a row… and was replace by a defensive line coach that couldn’t put a sentence together.
The team was already destined to have a terrible season because of the mass exodus of players who saw what was coming ahead. If that wasn’t enough, a second sacrifice was brought in the next season with Chip Kelly, a struggling NFL head coach who ran a gimmicky offense with questionable personnel moves during his time in Philly.
Total offensive production for the 49ers was a joke at 5,185 yards with Colin “Sack-or-pick” Kaepernick showing 49ers fans once and for all, why you just can’t trust him with the football. Aside from his political statements he chose to make on-field, no one would have spoken his name this season besides to point out how horrible he was playing.
Now a new regime has been brought in with Shanahan 2.0 to right the ship and bring the 49ers back from the brink, but let’s face the facts, this team has a long way to go before they can be taken seriously again in the NFC West, and it all hinges on good draft picks and a steady and collaborative coaching and front office staff. Call me “The Pessimist” but don’t look for the 49ers to be above a 4 to 5-win team for the rest of this decade.
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