The NFC West has consistently been one of the strongest divisions in the NFL over the last few years. Going into 2021, it could be argued it is even stronger, with all four teams having a good chance of reaching the Super Bowl.
In 2020, only the San Francisco 49ers had a losing record. After reaching the Super Bowl in the previous campaign, the 49ers had a disappointing campaign, finishing 6-10. A number of injuries to key personnel had a big impact on their results.
This goes to show that nothing is for certain and, with that in mind, here is a look at the chances of all four teams going into the new season.
The Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West title for a ninth time last season after a solid campaign. They got off to a fast start and although there were a few disappointing results in the second half of the regular season, fans will have been happy that their team recorded 12 wins from their 16 matches.
For as long as Russell Wilson is suited up in a Seattle jersey and starting behind center, not only are Seattle in contention for the NFC West crown again, they have a strong chance of going all the way to the Super Bowl.
In 2020 Russell played some of the best football yet. He had a career-high of 40 touchdowns and threw for 4,212 yards. If it weren’t for the brilliance shown by Aaron Rodgers last year, the Seahawks QB may have won the MVP award for the first time.
There is a lot to like about the team in Oregon ahead of next season. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are a fantastic receiving duo, while Jamal Adams proved to be an excellent addition to the defense in 2020. They should be expected to reach the playoffs again, at the very least.
It was all change in Los Angeles during the offseason as the Rams made a blockbuster trade with the Detroit Lions for their quarterback Matthew Stafford, with Jared Goff going the opposite direction.
Stafford’s numbers over the last 10 years speak for themselves. He has thrown for over 4,000 yards on eight occasions, including last year. These are impressive stats in the league when you consider the Lions have often finished with a losing record.
The Rams were beaten in the Divisional Round of the playoffs last season by the Green Bay Packers. As of June 2nd, they were +1200 in the NFL odds for the Super Bowl. This is the shortest price of any of the four NFC West Teams. Sean McVay’s side is the favorite to win their first title in the division since 2018.
Ever since they drafted Kyler Murray as the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals have been a team that has been heading in the right direction. Last season was only the second time in the last five years they had not finished with a losing record.
The Cardinals have made some eye-catching signings in the offseason. Wide receiver A.J Green joins from the Cincinnati Bengals on a one-year deal. J.J Watt chose Arizona over a host of franchises following his move from Houston, while two-time Super Bowl winner Malcolm Butler adds some experience.
Arizona has not won the NFC West title in six years, but they are now built to compete in the division and also reach the playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers
There are still a lot of question marks about the 49ers heading into the new season. The biggest being who will start at quarterback? San Francisco has been linked with a trade for a number of QBs, including Rodgers. If they were able to pull off a deal for last season’s MVP, they would be elevated into Super Bowl contenders.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan will be hoping for a little more luck this year when it comes to injuries. On paper, they have a strong enough roster to push for a playoff spot once again. Mohamed Sanu and Marqise Lee have both joined to add to their receiving ranks, while defensively, they remain very solid.
The 2021 season begins on September 9 when the defending champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Kickoff Game.