The Arizona Cardinals are in the beginning stage of a rebuild under their first-year head coach Steve Wilks. Following their five-year run of excellence, the Seattle Seahawks are in the midst of change following their first missed playoff appearance in the last half-dozen seasons.
The San Franciso 49ers took a big step forward late last season thanks to their new franchise signal-caller and now they have hope for the future. No team was more surprising in 2017 than the Los Angeles Rams who took the league by storm under then, first-year head coach Sean McVay.
Now, as we get set for the quickly approaching 2018 regular season, the big question in the NFC West seems to be…are the Rams a lockpick to claim their second straight division title? Let’s find out right now as I offer up my expert insight on the NFL futures odds to win the NFC West in 2018.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 9, 2018
I’m counting on the Rams to be one of the top Super Bowl contenders in either conference in 2018. L.A. is brimming with talent, starting with running back Todd Gurley, much-improved quarterback Jared Goff, an explosive wide receiving core and a bunch of outstanding defense players including a trio of recent pro Bowl calibers stars in nose tackle Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Aqib talin and Marcus Peters. They are looking to improve on their stunning 11-5 record in 2017 and I believe they will.
The San Francisco 49ers may have recorded what, on the surface appears to be an uninspiring 6-10 record last season, but the fact of the matter is that Frisco ended their 2017 campaign in spectacular fashion while finding their franchise quarterback in former New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo. The Niners won their final five regular season games while hanging 44 points on Jacksonville in Week 16 matchup that was still important for the Jags and putting 34 on the board in their finale against the Rams, who did rest the vast majority of their starters. Head coach Mike Shanahan is creative and has a boatload of talent on both sides of the ball, making a winning season a very real possibility and dare I say, an expectation.
By now, everyone knows the Seattle Seahawks are a team in the midst of change on both sides of the ball. Seattle still hasn’t adjusted to life without Marshawn Lynch, though, having an MVP-caliber superstar in quarterback Russell Wilson hides a lot of blemishes. Still, Seattle has suffered some tough losses with longtime superstar cornerback Richard Sherman off to San Francisco and defensive tackle Michael Bennet, among others, also gone. Seattle could go 10-6 or they could go 8-8. Right now, no one really knows.
The Arizona Cardinals are a team at the start of a rebuild under first-year head coach Steve Wilks, the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator last season and defensive backs coach the previous two seasons. While I like the hire of Wilks and the drafting of talented quarterback Josh Rosen with the 10th overall pick in the NFL Draft, I think it’s going to take at least a year before he finds the success he and the organization are looking for moving forward.
All in all, I’d say the oddsmakers have this division pegged perfectly. The Rams are clearly the cream of the crop in the NFC West while the Niners would appear to be the second-best team in the division, but I’m not sure it’s not going to be a Seattle team I think is getting overlooked. Arizona is clearly pulling up the rear in the NFC West.
Pick: Los Angeles Rams
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