September 7, 2009

NFC West preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

The NFC West, like its AFC brother, will no doubt be one of the worst in the NFL again. Whether the teams are injury prone, or managerially inept, something usually derails the majority of the teams here. Even last year, the Cardinals essentially ran on a big hot streak to make the Super Bowl after finishing 9-7. It’s very questionable to think we’ll see them repeat that feat.

Arizona Cardinals (Last season: 9-7)
The Super Bowl losing Cardinals were a tippy-toe away from a title and the history says they’re not going to make it back to the big bowl game. Combining the curse of the runner up with Larry Fitzgerald’s Madden curse and it could be a rough season in the dessert. If Kurt Warner holds up, they should be respectable, but when are they going to turn to the future with Matt Leinart?
Predicted record: 7-9

San Francisco 49ers (Last season: 7-9)
The 49ers made a late surge with new coach Mike Singletary last season and you would think that they’ll build on that this season. I don’t believe that. Their QB situation is still a mess with Alex Smith backing up Shaun Hill and their top draft pick (Michael Crabtree) decided that he’d be an idiot and still hasn’t signed with the team. It will be at least another season before the 49ers return to glory days.
Predicted record: 7-9

Seattle Seahawks (Last season: 4-12)
The Seahawks were absolutely murdered by injuries last season, especially with losses to their receivers core and Matt Hasselbeck’s back pains. This year, Hasselbeck is healthy and the team brought in perennially under-rated T.J. Who’s-your-daddy from Cincinnati. Seattle still has the best home-field advantage in football and I see them taking the division crown back this season.
Predicted record: 8-8

St. Louis Rams (Last season: 2-14)
The Rams took a big step in the right direction by grabbing tackle Jason Smith second overall. He’ll help anchor a rebuilt line that severely needed an overhaul. Losing WR Donnie Avery in the pre-season will hurt for the first few weeks, especially after letting Torry Holt walk away. I’d be very surprised if the Rams aren’t picking in the top-5 again next draft.
Predicted record: 4-12

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