2018 NFC West Preview

1. Los Angeles Rams– They hire the youngest coach in the league and he leads them from worst to first place in 2017 and the best offense in the NFC averaging 32 points a game. The Rams have the coach of the year in Sean McVay, the offensive player of the year in Todd Gurley and the reigning defensive player of the year in Aaron Donald. This off-season, they were extremely aggressive. They acquired Marcus Peters from the Chiefs, signed cornerback Aqib Talib, Brandin Cooks was acquired from New England and the Rams also signed free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. They’re trying to show us all that last year wasn’t the last that we would see of them. They are stacked and it looks good on paper, now we need to see it live on the field.

2. Seattle Seahawks– For the first time in the Russell Wilson era, the Seahawks were elimination from playoff contention. Coming into the new season, there are still some question marks with them. Can the offensive line protect the franchise quarterback? Every other play, Russell was running for his life. Will they get back to running the ball? When Seattle ran the ball, good things happened for their offense and their running game hasn’t been the same since Marshawn Lynch left. Their defense should still be one of the best in the league with Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner. It’ll be a different year in Seattle for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks.

3. Arizona Cardinals– They haven’t been the same team since 2015 when they were a game away from the Super Bowl and they’ve had a lot of inconsistent quarterback play. It was a tough year for the Cardinals after they lost David Johnson for the rest of the season after he injured his wrist in the first game of the season. There are a few new faces in Arizona for the Cardinals this year. Sam Bradford was signed in the off-season, the team drafted quarterback Josh Rosen from UCLA who I see getting the starting job in week one and Bruce Arians decided to retire after the 2017 season. Steve Wilkes is now the man leading the Cardinals. One familiar face returns and that’s Larry Fitzgerald who continues to play at a high level this far into his career.

4. San Francisco 49ers– At one time, they looked to be on their way to clinching the number one pick in the NFL draft until they made a trade that changed their entire season. The 49ers acquired Jimmy Garappolo from the Patriots and he led them to a five-game winning streak to end the 2017 season. They also made one of the biggest moves of the free agency period when they signed free agent cornerback Richard Sherman to a three-year deal. If Jimmy continues to do what he’s done, the running game clicks and the defense makes stops, this is a playoff team in my mind, no question about it.

2018 Predictions
1. Rams (11-5)
2. 49ers (10-6)
3. Seahawks (8-8)
4. Cardinals (7-9)

The Rams will take the division again in 2018 and we all knew they’d be the favorites regardless if they made the moves they did or not. I loved how Jared Goff looked in 2017 and I see him getting better under McVay. I’m anxious to see how their defense will be this year. The thought of offensive lines having to prepare for Donald and Suh is a nightmare.