The NFC West became one of the most underrated divisions in the league, as three out of four teams have a good chance to take the division. However, only one has the best chance to win the championship, based on how the team is shaping up. Here are the assessments:
Best Offense: Los Angeles Rams
The Rams pose one of the best offenses in the league. Led by young QB Jared Goff and young head coach/QB Guru Sean McVay, the Rams can make huge strides next year. Goff has the tools to be one of the best, with a great offensive line, an All-Pro RB in Todd Gurley, and good WRs in Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp. Despite losing Matt Lafleur, the Rams will not look back and continue to build off the explosive offense last year.
Best Defense: Los Angeles Rams
Despite moving pieces around the secondary, the Rams added two great corners in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, as well as nose tackle Ndamukong Suh. In fact, the Rams are adding this to a corp comprised of Lamarcus Joyner and Nickell Robey-Coleman, with a front seven led by Mark Barron, Aaron Donald, and Michael Brockers. While Aaron Donald has yet to report to the team, he along with Suh could present troubles for opposing lines. Not to mention, the ball-hawking secondary that can produce numerous turnovers.
Breakout Star: David Johnson
David Johnson was out for the whole year with a wrist injury. This year, he will look to be a big part of the Cardinals offense, with an average/unknown QB at the helm. Johnson was tearing up the league the previous year having around 2,000 scrimmage yards. This year, he eyes a 1,000-yards rushing and receiving campaign. With the way the offense is shaping up, it is very possible for Johnson to achieve the goal.
Question Mark: Cardinals Starting QB?
The Cardinals have a big question mark as to who is starting at QB opening night: Sam Bradford or Josh Rosen? Bradford is being paid $20 million, as he would be expected to start. However, Steve Wilks, the head coach, has stated that he will not hesitate to bench Bradford if Rosen exceeds expectations. This competition will most likely lead into the preseason and force Wilks to make a decision whether Bradford or Rosen will get the nod.
Hot Seat: Pete Carroll
Pete Carroll has a very slim chance of being fired due to how great he has led this Seahawks roster. However, he does pose a higher probability than the others in their division. Besides, Seattle also has a very slim chance of making the playoffs, with how loaded the NFC is. The Seahawks have been known to contend, and if they do not reach above .500, let alone the playoffs, he could be headed out.
Predictions: Rams 11-5, 49ers 10-6, Seahawks 8-8, Cardinals 6-10
Overall, the Rams have the best chance and will most likely snag the division. However, expect some competition between the 49ers and Rams during the season. Speaking of which, the 49ers have a great chance to get the 5th or 6th seed if they continue playing in the high level they did over the course of the last six weeks. The Seahawks don’t have the tools to reach the playoffs, especially with their lackluster defense and troubling offensive woes. However, Russell Wilson will have a great year, helping lead the team to most of the victories and Pete Carroll is still there to lead the new and young Seattle squad. The Cardinals are in a position where they have moving pieces everywhere: the QB spot, the secondary, the linebackers spot, etc. They will most likely regress heavily and go 6-10, possibly leading to a change in the front office.