Shake up or Showdown?
Finally a division in the NFC we can get excited for! We wrap up the NFC Keys To The Division this week with the NFC West which should be more exiting than the other 3 divisions in this conference. Although the Seahawks are in re-build mode and the Cardinals might take a step back the 2-way race between the 49er's and Rams is sure to be an entertaining one.
Seahawks - Quarterback
It’s hard to gauge where the Seahawks stand coming into 2022. Gone are the days where this team just had complete dominance over the division and in are the days of tearing down and re-building. To me a successful season for the Seahawks isn’t about making the playoffs it’s more about if can they establish a solid future or not. They have major question marks at QB, OL and Defense and the Seahawks need to start answering these questions if they want to feel confident moving forward. How confident can you be with Geno Smith at the helm? Well, if you ask Ben McAdoo he would tell you he has full confidence in Geno Smith. So much confidence that Eli Manning had to be benched for him. Let me give Geno Smith some credit though, he did look pretty solid when he stepped in for an injured Russell Wilson and obviously the Seahawks have confidence in him since they didn’t draft a QB this year or maybe that was just lack of confidence in this years class. Either way the Seahawks QB battle will come down the Geno Smith and Drew Lock. I know, we are all waiting with bated breath to find out who will win this fierce competition.
49ers – Quarterback
Which way will they go? Great question and a question I am sure that Niners Nation would like answered sooner rather than later. We are less than a month away from training camp and it would appear that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are intent on keeping Jimmy G and let’s give him some credit he did lead this team to the NFC Championship game last year. Jimmy G is also surrounded by a ton of talent on this team which is why whenever Trey Lance takes over it will make things easier for him although there will still be some trial and error with him. We don’t know when Trey Lance will take over but I do think the Niners have found some long term consistency with their supporting cast under Shanahan and consistency will take you far.
Cardinals – Kliff Kingsbury
You could argue that Kliff has this team in a better spot now than before he took over in 2019 however we can’t overlook the fact that his teams struggle at life in the second half of the season. Cardinals missed the playoffs 2 years ago and just barely made it last season. Actually, if you go back far enough you can see this Kliff Kingsbury pattern goes back to his Texas Tech days which is concerning at this point. On the flip side all it will take is one good run through the post season and the second half of the season collapses will be a distant memory. Can Kliff coach this team up and get them poised for a strong playoff run? I’m not sure but I will say that Kliff has done a lot with not much to work with aside from Kyler Murray and D.Hop.
Rams – Run Game
What? Nikki, do you even know football? Yes, yes I do. I also know that if the Rams want to win more time of possession especially against say the 49ers, they can’t just rely on the Matt Stafford & Cooper Kupp show. The Rams will need a strong run game this season and quality play from their backs. Rams have also had a change with their Running Backs coach Thomas Brown who is now the Rams tight end coach. Enter in the new Rams running backs coach Ra’Shaad Samples. The positive here is that their offensive line coach Kevin Carberry will be back for another season with the team which should help strengthen the Rams run game if this re-tooled OL can be better at run blocking than the previous group. Look out for the Cam Akers show this season.
NFC West Overall:
Well, it’s the more exciting division in the NFC although I wouldn’t necessarily sleep on the NFC East. It seems all eyes will be on the Rams and 49er’s with the Seahawks in rebuild mode and the Cardinals facing a tough 6 weeks without D.Hop. I love a good divisional rival game and the 49ers and Rams have delivered every time. I don’t think this division will send 3 teams to the playoffs again but if any division was to do it, it would be the NFC West.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments. Are you excited for the NFC West? Do you think all 4 teams can deliver or are we looking at a 2 team race here?