This division resembles the AFC East, as there seems to be just one true contender to win it. The Seattle Seahawks are looking to contend for another Super Bowl, while the other teams in this group will struggle to just win more games than they lose. Of course, they also won’t choke a Super Bowl away in dramatic fashion either. So it’s all about perspective.
1. Seattle Seahawks
Predicted finish: 12-4
The Seahawks needed some major help on their offensive line, as QB Russell Wilson was running for his life last season. Wilson was sacked 41 times, and had to battle various injuries all year, as a result. However, in the offseason Seattle signed some help on defense, and an overweight running back in Eddie Lacy. It is almost like the Seahawks front office hates Wilson as much as his own defense does.
2. Arizona Cardinals
Predicted finish: 9-7
There are a lot of things to like about this Cardinals team despite the fact that they took a step backward last season. RB David Johnson is one of the best backs in the league. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown are a potent receiving duo. The defense should be active and aggressive, and the kicking game should improve. Oh wait…they still have Carson Palmer at QB, and no real backup? Yeah, nevermind.
3. Los Angeles Rams
Predicted finish: 6-10
The Rams finally had enough of being average, so they fired head coach Jeff Fisher, and set out to find a new identity. They hired 30-year-old Sean McVay to coach 22-year-old QB Jared Goff, without much in the way of an offensive line, or a solid wide receiving corps. Then, they hired 70-year-old Wade Phillips to coach an already respectable defense. Sound confusing? This is LA. It doesn’t have to make sense.
4. San Francisco 49ers
Predicted finish: 4-12
The Niners decided to clean house, hiring Kyle Shanahan to take over as head coach. They are hoping that Shanahan can bring his brand of high powered offense back to the Bay area, and return this franchise to prominence. Yes, the guy that couldn’t manufacture a first down in the second half of last year’s Super Bowl is going to somehow get Brian Hoyer to play at an elite level. Maybe this group should move to LA too.
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