With the former doormats of the NFC West becoming viable, the Arizona Cardinals may struggle to avoid the division’s cellar
The Arizona Cardinals knew this day was coming. For the last couple of years, the proverbial “window” has been closing on the franchise in the desert. Now, as soon as next season possibly, that window may slam shut.
While a couple of their NFC West counterparts appear to be on the ascent, the Cards seem to be spiralling downward. It’s almost impossible to win in the NFL without a top-flight quarterback. If Arizona was unsure about that before, the current season may be convincing them of that fact.
The Los Angeles Rams made Jared Goff the first-overall pick of the 2016 draft. With their former head coach Jeff Fisher leading the squad, the University of California product was looking like a bust. But with a 31-year old wunderkind named Sean McVay now in control, opinions on Goff are changing.
The youngest head coach in league history has led the Rams to a ten and four record, good for first place in the division. McVay’s bunch went on the road and dismantled the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday. Los Angeles’ 42-7 victory is indicative of what appears to be a changing of the guard in the West.
The San Francisco 49ers may also be on the rise. Through the first nine weeks of the current campaign, the team was winless. But over the past few weeks, things have been looking up for new head coach Kyle Shanahan’s crew.
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The trade the 49ers pulled off to acquire quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has the looks of a good one. Since they inserted the former New England Patriots’ backup into the starting lineup, San Francisco has won three contests in a row. Garoppolo’s early success is further proof of what having a good signal-caller can do for an organization.
The Seahawks’ humiliating home loss to the Rams this past weekend has raised many questions up in the Pacific Northwest. Losing to up and coming Los Angeles was not a huge cause for concern. What raised red flags was the way in which Seattle got steamrolled.
When the smoke clears, however, the Seahawks still have Russell Wilson leading their offense. The passer has had very little to work with this year, but has been highly productive nevertheless. As long as they have Wilson, Seattle will have a legitimate shot at winning the NFC West every season.
The Cardinals are clearly losing ground within their division. Unless they make some big-time acquisitions in the upcoming offseason, they could fall even further behind. The NFC West appears to be turning upside down, and unfortunately Arizona may end up at the bottom of the pile in 2018.