With only a day remaining until the kickoff to the 2020 NFL season, we have reached our final chapter of this year’s prediction series!
Today, we explore arguably the most toughest division in football in the NFC West.
The division was tight last year with one of the teams advancing all the way to the Super Bowl, and it looks it could end up that way again. It’s going to be a tight race once again in the West, but let’s see how all four teams do first.
In just their first year with both coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray at the helm, the Arizona Cardinals did pretty well.
And their offense has gotten better as they acquired wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans to collab with future Hall-of-Famer Larry Fitzgerald and speedy Andy Isabella.
The defense also got richer as they extended safety Budda Baker and drafted utility defender Isaiah Simmons to give them a much-needed boost.
Signs are pointing for Arizona to be up in contention, but in the division which features two Super Bowl-caliber teams, that will be tough. As long as they stay on their course, they will be fine—hopefully.
Los Angeles Rams
Just two years removed from their Super Bowl 53 appearance, it is a huge guess that the Los Angeles Rams are in a bit of a bind.
Along with trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans, the Rams have unloaded some of their players due to their cap troubles and defensive changes. Such players getting let go include running back Todd Gurley, pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr., and linebacker Cory Littleton.
Even with extensions given to quarterback Jared Goff and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, this team is looking at an uphill climb for the season.
If the Rams want to win a title, now is the best time. This is looking to be a long year for LA, but their new stadium is looking really nice.
San Francisco 49ers
Last year’s NFC champions in the San Francisco 49ers are locked and loaded for another run at the Lombardi Trophy, and most for great reason.
Almost all of the team’s starters have been brought back. But when they did lose players, they added key new ones.
Even though they lost defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, they drafted South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw to fill the void; same with losing wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, they didn’t lose a sweat as they drafted Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk to solidify a young core.
The 49ers are deep and have loaded themselves to contention for years to come, but they do have one obstacle (or team) that they have to overcome first.
Times are doing very well up in the Pacific Northwest for the Seattle Seahawks.
Even with their archrival in the 49ers clinching the division and conference, Seattle looks to one up on them in 2020.
The offense remains intact with the three-headed monster of All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Chris Carson, and the second-year breakout wide receiver in DK Metcalf.
The Seahawks defense is also good even with the recent additions of former Detroit Lions safety Quandre Diggs (2019 midseason), linebacker Bobby Wagner, and former New York Jets safety Jamal Adams.
Seattle has a team that is ready to overtake San Francisco for the top of the division, but only one gets to clinch it. Hopefully everything messes together for the Seahawks to get it.
- Seattle Seahawks 12-4**
- San Francisco 49ers 11-5*
- Arizona Cardinals 7-9
- Los Angeles Rams 5-11
As mentioned before, the division will be deadlocked right to the very end of the season, but at the end, the Seahawks will narrowly clinch the division by a game over the 49ers.
Arizona will see steady improvement through the team at 7-9, and the Rams will collapse to 5-11.