2017 NFC West Preview

1. Seattle Seahawks– They have been one of the more consistent teams to beat in the NFL over the last four years and they have made some deep playoff runs which also includes two NFC championships and one Super Bowl victory. The Seahawks have slipped the last few seasons in the playoffs losing in the divisional round in back to back seasons, but they are still one of the more talented teams in the league. As a team, they don’t really lose much. They signed Eddie Lacy and the big question on him is can he stay healthy and can he stay in shape? The offensive line has struggled big time since they traded Max Unger to the Saints for Jimmy Graham. Seattle signed former number one draft pick Luke Joeckel to a deal. He’s a versatile lineman that can play multiple positions on the on the offensive line. When you talk about Seahawks football, the defense will always come to mind and they’ve been one of the best units in the league since Pete Carroll took over as the team’s head coach. Not much has changed since last year and if the offensive line improves, this could be the team to beat in the NFC.

2. Arizona Cardinals– Next to the Carolina Panthers (the team they played in the NFC title game the year prior), they were by far the biggest disappointment in the NFL after going 7-8-1 last season. They kept their offense together. Fitz is entering his 13th season in the league and they also have one of the best running backs in the NFL in David Johnson. I’ve said this on numerous occasions, each team has that player that’s their Mr. Everything and that’s definitely Johnson. The Cardinals lost a large bulk of their defense from last season. They lost defensive lineman Calais Campbell, cornerback Marcus Cooper, linebacker Kevin Minter and a pair of safeties in D.J. Swearinger and Tony Jefferson. If you’re not keeping track at home, the Cards lost five of their top six tacklers from last season, creating major holes in this defense. Karlos Dansby is back with the organization and they also signed veteran safety Antoine Bethea. Arizona has enough offensively to still be competitive and the defense can still do what it takes to provide some balance.

3. Los Angeles Rams– Their first season back in Los Angeles wasn’t a good one as they won only four games. A change was finally made at head coach, something that should’ve happened many years ago. Jeff Fisher was fired in season and this off-season, the Rams hired former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay as their new head coach. He’s also the youngest head coach in the NFL today at 31 years old. The Rams will enter the year with new weapons offensively. Kenny Britt, Lance Kendricks, and Brian Quick are all gone and the team signed Robert Woods from Buffalo. On defense, the Rams signed Connor Barwin, a veteran presence that can get to the quarterback with ease. Jared Goff enters the year as the starting quarterback.

4. San Francisco 49ers– Let’s rewind some. From 2011-2013, the 49ers were back on top of the football world under Jim Harbaugh and they were in the playoffs all those years. My, how times have changed since then. They won two games last season and a total of 15 altogether within the last three seasons. The 49ers did their fair share of spring cleaning. In January, the team hired former player and now former analyst John Lynch as their new GM and he turned around and hired Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as their new head coach. Brian Hoyer, who has bounced around the league has been signed and will be the starter. The 49ers won big with the drafting of Solomon Thomas, the defensive linemen from Stanford. With Bowman, newly signed Elvis Dumervil and Reuben Foster, the Patrick Willis replacement, the defense could truly carry this team once again.

2017 Predictions
1. Seahawks (12-4)
2. Cardinals (10-6)
3. Rams (4-12)
4. 49ers (3-13)

The Seahawks for the fourth time in five years under Pete Carroll will win the NFC West. The defense will contribute as they always do. This is a very disciplined team that has their roster intact from last season and if the offensive line plays better and Russell Wilson is healthy, this could be a tough team to beat once the season starts.