A wonderful NFL season has finally hit the business end as we hit the Conference finals of the playoffs for the 2022/23 campaign and the final four teams. With a place in the Super Bowl LVII up for grabs we will see the San Francisco 49ers take on the Philadelphia Eagles while the Cincinnati Bengals will also take on Kansas City Chiefs. We’ll […]
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NFL Division Previews: NFC West Preview
1. Seattle Seahawks, -250
The Seahawks have not just been the class of the NFC West, but the best team in the NFC the previous two seasons, representing the conference in the last two Super Bowls. The Seahawks have relied on the draft on building there Super Bowl quality team, but made a big splash this offseason trading for All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham. The Seahawks have their first true threat in passing game and the added dimension to the offense make the Seahawks, once again, one of the NFL’s elite teams.
On the defensive side of the ball, Seattle boosts easily the best secondary in the league over the previous few seasons. With a group aptly named the “Legion of Boom”, Seattle has bullied opposing offenses into submission. The defensive side of the ball is not just defined by its secondary, but a strong line-backing core lead by Bobby Wagner and a deep defensive line featuring the talents of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. The depth of the defensive is one of the key reasons the Seahawks enter 2015 as a Super Bowl favourite.
2. Arizona Cardinals, +400
Bruce Arians has revitalized a Cardinals franchise in his first two seasons as head coach. The next step for the entertaining head coach is to get the offense clicking come playoff time. The Cardinal’s offense was competent enough until Carson Palmer torn his ACL on the 9th of November. Afterwards the Cardinals offense sputtered and reached a low point in the playoffs, posting a lowly 3 points and all-time playoff low in total offensive yards with 78. With a healthy Palmer, a few young players continuing to develop and the improved o-line, the Cards have just enough to get by this season.
The defensive side of the ball was hampered by injuries and suspensions during the 2014, most notably being middle linebacker Daryl Washington’s yearlong suspension and countless other players for extended periods of time from injury. A fully healthy Cardinals’ team is strong enough to contend for a Wild Card spot, but it has yet to prove it has enough dynamic playmakers to steal the division from the Seahawks.
3. San Francisco 49ers, +900
A public feud between former head coach Jim Harbaugh and ownership/management produced a very disappointed season for the 49ers. Following the season, Harbaugh resigned and the team experienced a very large turnover in roster. New head coach Jim Tomsula inherits a team with talent remaining but to many question marks looming for it to return to its 2011-2013 from – when it won 11 games or more each season. If Vernon Davis can be healthy and productive and Reggie Bush can be a multi-down back, the 49ers offense may have a few more playmakers on offense than did they in 2014. Still the loss and retirement of countless players on the defensive side of the ball, specifically leader and All-Pro middle linebacker Patrick Willis hurt the team too much.
4. St. Louis Rams, +900
The Rams model of, for lack of a better word, "Meh" seems like it will once again continue in 2015. The teams has had a tendency to field teams lacking much identity or entertainment value. The offense is young and the defensive, when clicking on all cylinders, is one of the most dangerous in the league. The offseason trade of former first overall pick to the Eagles for quarterback Nick Foles, seems as though it is merely a move to shake things up instead of making a ground breaking change to get the Rams over their lengthy playoff drought. If the Rams can just get running back Tre Mason and wide receivers Tavon Austin and Brian Quick going right out of the gate, than the Rams offense could finally make the pivotal and necessarily step forward to get out of the NFC West basement.
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