Saturday, August 27, 2011

NFC West Champions: St. Louis Rams

Most experts refer to the NFC West as the weakest division in football. Last year the division winner (Seattle Seahawks) made the playoffs with a losing record and prompted discussions about whether or not the rules should be changed.

That talk went away when the Seahawks beat the defending Super Bowl champs at home. It cost them 17 spots in the draft, but it also let people know anything is possible once you get to the 2nd season. Even if the division is crappy someone has to win it. Here's how the NFC West will shake out.

Division winner: St. Louis Rams. Sam Bradford is by far the best quarterback in this division and if Stephen Jackson can stay healthy the Rams will have a balanced offense. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is looking for redemption after an embarrassing stint in Denver and should have this team scoring a lot of points. The Rams will do just enough to sneak into the playoffs.

2nd place: Seattle Seahawks. The Pete Carroll experiment is still a work in progress. The quarterbacks are suspect, the running game is a huge question mark, and the franchise left tackle (Russell Okung) seems to be a little fra-gee-lay. The team is getting younger and more talented however. They'll play hard and stay competitive, but this is not their season.

3rd place: San Francisco 49ers. It will take rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh about 5 games to realize Alex Smith is not the answer at quarterback and then we'll see what adjustments they make. The defense will keep them in most games and kicker David Akers (a fantasy football tidbit) will probably leads the team in scoring. The 49ers will win 6 games.

Last place: Arizona Cardinal. The good news is the Cardinals recently re-signed all world receiver Larry Fitzgerald to a long term contract. The bad news is he can't throw the ball to himself. Kevin Kolb is incredibly overrated and with no running game to speak of defenses will have a field day against their anemic offense. 4-5 wins is all they're good for.

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