When people brought up the NFC West 10 years ago, it was a division that was merely an afterthought. The division was horrible all the way around, and there seemed to be little competition at the top. Sure, the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals made their Super Bowl run, but the success stopped there, and the NFC West was most commonly known as the “NFC Least.” How times have changed. A division that was a laughingstock throughout the NFL has quickly became arguably the league’s toughest division.
The NFC West has now turned into what I like to call the “NFC Best.” That’s right, the NFC West is by far the superior division in the NFC, and for good reason. In this article, I will breakdown all four teams within the division and where they stack up against each other in my NFC West power rankings. I will take into account free-agent additions, rookie draft class, and new personnel in making my decision. So without further ado, here are my NFC West ower rankings.
This should come as no surprise, as the 49ers are once again a clear cut favorite to go to the Super Bowl. With the off-season additions of wide receiver Anquan Boldin, nose tackle Glenn Dorsey and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, the 49ers get better on both sides of the ball. Sure, they lost All-Pro free safety Dashon Goldson, but to counter that loss they traded up for FS Eric Reid (LSU). The Niners are making all the right moves, and until the Seattle Seahawks knock them off, the NFC West crown is theirs.
2. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are on the brink of overtaking the NFC West, as they are loaded with talent and very well-coached. They brought in the biggest fish in wideout Percy Harvin and another solid pass-rusher in DE Cliff Avril. It was a game of chess between them and the 49ers; whenever the 49ers made a move, the Seahawks countered. However, the one area where the Seahawks may have lost their most valuable asset is on the defensive side of the ball, as defensive coordinator Gus Bradley left for greener pastures as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. A great coach and defensive mind, the Seahawks defense will need to make up for the loss, some way, some how.
The Rams are tough, physical, and aggressive. They play hard and are very relentless. They fight to the very end, and always give their NFC West opponents fits. They improved their line with the signing of offensive tackle Jake Long and also had a solid draft class. Head coach Jeff Fisher has all the pieces in place to make a run in a couple years, so do not be surprised if they overtake the Seahawks in a couple years.
4. Arizona Cardinals
I’m not trying to downplay the Cardinals. They are a very good team and are headed in the right direction. They had a great draft class and arguably the best steal in CB Tyrann Mathieu. Also, by adding new head coach Bruce Arians, the Cardinals finally find their leader as the Cardinals will indeed turn some heads in 2013.