2013 NFC West Preview
NFL season is right around the corner, which means that it's time for everyone to make really inaccurate predictions about the upcoming season. Today, I break down the NFC West, a division that was once the NFL's punchline, but may be the best in the league today.
San Francisco 49ers
The Good: They have an electrifying playmaker at quarterback in Colin Kaepernick, one of the best coaches in the league in Jim Harbaugh, and a front office that is more competent than the vast majority of the league. That is usually a formula for titles in the NFL. Also, their defense will continue to give teams fits this season.
The Bad: I am hardly alone in saying that I want to punch Jim Harbaugh in the Adam's Apple every time he goes on a tirade directed towards a referee when they fail to call pass interference on uncatchable balls, right? He is easily the most insufferable guy on an NFL sideline, given that Bill Belichick at least has the courtesy to keep his smugness quiet.
Also, the Niners are hoping that Nnamdi Asomugha can play more like he did on the Raiders than he did on the Eagles. Good luck with that..
The Good: Russell Wilson, despite only being four feet tall, is a high quality quarterback due to his athleticism and decision making ability. Marshawn Lynch is one of the few backs in the league that can carry the ball early in a drive and also finish drives at the goal line, a huge plus. Defensively, they may have the best DBs in the league in Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, and Antoine Winfield. That same defensive backfield could probably get you a solid connection for Adderall, which is cool, right? Also, THOSE UNIFORMS. Man, those things are sweet.
The Bad: They faced a really weak schedule last year, which allowed them to get hot at the end of the year and make the playoffs. Against one of the few tough teams they did play, Green Bay, they won on one of the worst calls ever made. Even in the playoffs, they only won in the first round because Mike Shanahan decided to play RGIII despite the fact that his knee ligaments were in worse shape than DuJuan Blair, who doesn't possess ACLs. So, it's hard to tell what exactly we're dealing with here.
St. Louis Rams
The Good: St. Louis isn't terrible anymore! They finished a half a game below .500 last year, because they managed to tie the 49ers in one of their two matchups. Their defense is solid, near the middle of the league in yards allowed and points allowed last season. Also, they have a fantastic corps of young receivers, headlined by West Virginia's Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, as well as Boise State's Austin Pettis. The best part about Pettis, of course, is the fact that he isn't his former Boise State teammate Titus Young.
The Bad: The Rams are really, remarkably terrible at scoring points. Last season they managed a paltry 18.7 points per game, and will have to find a way to do better without former face of the franchise Steven Jackson. They were one of six NFC teams to have a negative turnover margin, which isn't going to fly against the Niners and Seahawks twice a year.
The Good: Rashard Mendenhall should be the first competent running back to play for the Cardinals since, well, before I was born. Larry Fitzgerald is still one of the best receivers in football, despite the fact that he hasn't had anyone to throw to him since Kurt Warner. Darnell Dockett isn't horrible. Patrick Peterson is a lot of fun to watch. Other than that, um, the stadium is nice?
The Bad: CARSON PALMER. When your team is looking to a guy that wasn't good enough for the Raiders to save the franchise, you may as well pack it in and Fail For Johnny Football.