Some have called the NFC West the worst division in the NFL for some time now, to those people I say… Not anymore.
With a potential powerhouse in San Francisco, two defenses on the cusp of becoming special in Seattle and Arizona and the still young and developing St. Louis Rams the division hasn’t seemed to be in better shape for years.
I have given you the questions I want to see answered for each team coming into the season, and I’ll happily link those for you in my predictions preview, but for now let’s get going with my 2012 NFC West Predictions.
As always please feel free to hate on me in the comments section, or on twitter @sethcoxtshq.
Game of the year:
Week 16, Seattle v San Francisco. I see both teams coming in with identical 8-6 records, the difference being the Seahawks get this game up in Seattle, with the 12th man behind them.
I think the Seahawks will have their offense at full strength, with a rested Marshawn Lynch having only played 8 games due to the likely suspension he will incur, and the defense will be able to feast on a lukewarm 49ers offense.
The Seahawks come out with an impressive 28-17 win and sitting in the drivers’ seat for a division title with their last game at home against a just trying to get through the year Rams squad.
Matt Flynn – 4386 yards 26 TDs 12 INTs 356comp 556att 64% 94.9 QB rating
Flynn does what Kevin Kolb was supposed to do in his first season in Arizona and leads the Seahawks new found passing attack, and with the almost mid season like pick up of Lynch the Seahawks go on a dominant type run going 7-1 to end the season.
Justin Smith- 62 total tackles 9 sacks, 8 QB hits, 14 QB pressures, 4 FF
Smith continues to shine for the 49ers 34 defense and puts up another monster year for one of the leagues best units.
Bruce Irvin- 11 sacks, 12 QB hits, 18 QB pressures
Continuing the divisional trend of situational pass rushers making an impact Irvin comes in and is the additional disruptive force that the Seahawks defense was missing.
All Division Team:
QB- Matt Flynn, Seattle Seahawks
RB- Steve Jackson, St. Louis Rams
RB- Ryan Williams, Arizona Cardinals
WR- Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
WR- Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks
TE- Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
LT- Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers
LG- Mike Iupati, San Francisco 49ers
C- Max Unger, Seattle Seahawks
RG- John Moffit, Seattle Seahawks
RT- Jason Smith, St Louis Rams
Defense: (Because of the differences in the 34 and 43 alignments I am just designating DL and LB w/ no specific area)
DL- Justin Smith, San Francisco 49ers
DL- Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals
DL- Darnell Dockett, Arizona Cardinals
DL- Red Bryant, Seattle Seahawks
LB- Navarro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers
LB- Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers
LB- Daryl Washington, Arizona Cardinals
CB- Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
CB- Cortland Finnegan, St. Louis Rams
S- Adrian Wilson, Arizona Cardinals
S- Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks
P- Andy Lee, San Francisco 49ers
K- David Akers, San Francisco 49ers
KR- Leon Washington, Seattle Seahawks
PR- Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
Agree or disagree would love to hear why.
*Editor’s note: Since the signing of Terrel Owens for the Seahawks I have thought about changing this, not because I don’t think Owens can play, but because I am not sure he was the right addition to a team that is breaking in a new quarterback and is likely to be playing in a modified offensive system of what they ran last year.
Then I realized worst case scenario is he makes the team, plays bad and they release him, so I am going to keep my predictions the same, much to my own chagrin as well.