And finally on to the NFC West, a division that I think has a pretty good chance of providing the superbowl champions (Spoiler alert… It won’t be the 49ers) As I said in the previous predictions, I think i’ve gone too hard on a team in this league, The Rams, they don’t have the easiest of schedules, but I have disrespected what is a pretty good defence and haven’t got them winning a huge amount of games.
Arizona Cardinals –
The Cards have a fantastic attacking roster, and a revived QB, until the NFC championship game last year, in Carson Palmer, they guy still has a massive arm, but doubts remain over his injury status, he’s getting older and has a history of problems, if he can stay fit they could be the highest scoring team in the league. John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Micheal Floyd are probably the best collection of WRs in the league, then you’ve got JJ Nelson and Jaron Brown as more than capable backups should any go down. Add to that David Johnson at RB, again with depth behind him in Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, and you’ve got an attack that’s second to none. On defence they’re not too shabby either with Tyrian Mattheu coming back from a serious injury, and in the running for comeback player of the year if things go as planned for him.
LA Rams –
The Rams move back to LA with a brand new QB, no.1 overall pick Jared Goff, who i’m sure they hoped would of proved better than he has been in pre-season, as the series of Hard Knocks has shown, he’s not the sharpest tool in the box, and seems to struggle with a lot at the moment, it could be the pressure, it could be that he’s just not ready, but he seems likely to begin the season as their no.3 QB behind Case Keenum and Sean Mannion. This shouldn’t matter a whole lot to the Rams, who hardly produced much through the air last season anyway, and you can see why when you’ve got a running back of Todd Gurleys quality. He missed 3 games last year, but still finished 3rd in rushing yards, averaging 85 per game. Their main defensive player is Aaron Donald who could well become the best D-man in the league. I don’t think Jeff Fisher will be getting to his usual 7-9 record, or keeping his job.
San Francisco 49ers –
They used to be good. They used to be very good. Montana, Young, Rice, even they wouldn’t be able to drag this team to a winning record. They go into the season not knowing who’s starting at QB the epic battle between Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick has yet to be decided with Christian Ponder even trying to throw his hat in the ring. Whoever wins has very little to throw to anyway, Torey Smith being the only recognisable target, although Vance McDonald could get a lot of action as well at Tight End. Carlos Hyde returns after missing the best pat of the season last year at running back and he’s going to be a well used man come the end of the season. In fairness, their defence isn’t awful, Navarro Bowman may well lead the league in tackles as he’ll be on the field a lot, and they drafted giant DeForest Buckner to go at the other end of the line. Chip Kelly coaching doesn’t fill me with a huge amount of confidence either.
Seattle Seahawks –
Last season seemed it could of become a bit of a struggle when Marshawn Lynch went down, only to be more than capably replaced by Thomas Rawls, who then suffered a major injury of his own, only for the Seahawks to then take to the air, leading Doug Baldwin to the best streak of his career and one of the best in history, finishing the season with over 1000 yards and 14 TDs, a Seahawks record. Alongside him Tyler Lockett broke out and had a good season, along with Jermaine Kearse. They also signed up TE Jimmy Graham, who was returning from a serious knee injury, but has reported as fully fit for the coming season. Christine Micheal has looked a changed man in the pre-season, and Rawls got some game time in the final pre-season match. I haven’t even mentioned Russell Wilson yet, who keeps plays alive that no other QB in the league would be able to do. As always they’re solid on defence too, so it’s between them and the Cardinals for the title again.
Patriots – W, Tampa – W, @Bills -W, Rams -W, @49ers -W, Seahawks – L, @Carolina – L, Bye, 49ers – W, @Vikings – L, @Atlanta – W, Washington – W, @Miami – W, Saints – W @Seahawks – L, @Rams – L
LA Rams –
@49ers – L, Seahawks – L, @Tampa – L, @Cardinals – L, Bills – L, @Lions – L, Giants – W, Bye, Carolina – L, @Jets – L, Miami – L, @Saints – L, @Patriots – L, Atlanta – L, @Seahawks – L, 49ers – W, Cardinals – W
3-13 (I don’t agree with this myself, their Defence will keep them in games, however it isn’t an easy schedule, the Falcons, Lions, Bills will all be coin flips for me, apparently I have them losing all of those…)
San Francisco 49ers –
Rams – W, @Carolina – L, @Seattle – L, Dallas – L, Cardinals – L, @Bills – L, Tampa – W, Bye, Saints – W, @Cardinals – L, Patriots – L, @Miami – L, @Bears – L, Jets – L, @Atlanta – L, @Rams – L, Seattle – L
3-13 (Unlike above, this could well happen, it’s a poor roster and a tough schedule)
Seattle Seahawks –
Miami – W, @Rams – W, 49ers – W, @Jets – W, Bye, Atlanta – W, @Cardinals – W, @Saints – L, Bills – W, @Patriots – W, Eagles – W, @Tampa – W, Carolina – L, @Packers – W, Rams – W, Cardinals – W, @49ers – W