NFC West Preview

Raphael Haynes
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[author image=”” ]Raphael Haynes, Atlanta, GA @mrcontroversy21[/author]


The NFC West is usually known for their defense. This is still true but the division made some splashes in the offseason on the offensive side. The Seattle Seahawks picked up one of the most coveted tight ends in Jimmy Graham, St. Louis Rams acquired quarterback Nick Foles via a trade and the Arizona Cardinals got their captain back in Carson Palmer. San Francisco 49ers picked up wide receiver Torrey  Smith but lost a lot of key players in the offseason. This is still a division that teams will hate to play. With shuffling players in and out the NFL, this will be an interesting division.


San Francisco 49ers

Record in 2014: 8-8

Key player: Linebacker– Navarro Bowman

Player to watch: Running Back- Carlos Hyde

2015 has already been a nightmare for the 49ers and the regular season haven’t even begun yet. A team that was considered a top two defense at the start of the 2014 season has been decimated by retirements (Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Justin Smith) and former All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith getting released from the team. Not only that, they lost Michael Crabtree (Oakland Raiders) and Frank Gore (Indianapolis Colts) to free agency and offensive tackle Anthony Davis. Head coach Jim Tomsula is a favorite in the 49ers locker room and players want to play for him. With Colin Kaepernick starting his first year without Jim Harbaugh, he’s expected to be looked upon as a leader. The team is hoping that Navarro Bowman returns back to form and become the leader that the defense desperately needs. The 49ers are lacking talent on both sides of the ball and after a devastating offseason this will be a rebuilding year. Prediction: 6-10


Arizona Cardinals

Record in 2014: 11-5

Key player: Quarterback- Carson Palmer

Player to watch: Cornerback Jerraud Powers 

The Cardinals under Bruce Arians soared to the top of the division and just fell short of a divisional championship because of injuries. They get Palmer back which makes the offense relevant again but they also lost some key defensive players in Antonio Cromartie (New York Jets) and Darnell Dockett (San Francisco 49ers). They still have talent in Tyron Mathieu, Patrick Peterson and Calais Campbell but the defense doesn’t look as scary. Another question is can Andre Ellington stay healthy? Also, Larry Fitzgerald is another year older which makes you wonder how much does he have in the tank? We all know that they will be a well coached team but how far will that get them? Predictions 9-7


St. Louis Rams

Record in 2014: 6-10

Key Player: Quarterback- Nick Foles 

Player to watch: Running Back- Todd Gurley 

Head coach Jeff Fisher is finally starting to see what he envisioned upon coming to St. Louis. After several seasons dealing with significant injuries to Sam Bradford, they decided to trade for Foles. The weakness on the team still remains the wide receiver core. With a QB that doesn’t turn the ball over that much and who can throw with the best of them seems promising for the wide outs. The offensive line is still a question for the team which can still have the city of St. Louis biting their nails. With a strong defense, a bruising running game and a passing game that protects the ball, this could be a dangerous team come December. Predictions: 10-6


Seattle Seahawks

Record in 2014: 12-4

Key player: Cornerback- Cary Williams

Player to watch: Wide Receiver- Ricardo Lockette

After a dismal ending of last Super Bowl, the Seahawks are still dealing with controversy but now it’s more of the players. The 2015 season started with trading for tight end Jimmy Graham (by trading center Max Unger). Great, except that they had to pay Mr. Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. That’s when the controversy came in. Denfensive end Michael Bennett wanted to get paid so he had some disturbing comments and safety Kam Chancellor decided to hold out because he wanted another contract. Both players signed last year by the way. Yet still, they still have Marshawn Lynch and a very good defense. With Wilson at the helm, this team might be young in age but have a lot of experience when it comes to post season. This team should be somewhere at the end like usual. Prediction: 12-4


NFC North                    NFC South                    NFC East

Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

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