THE NFC WEST
Why the San Francisco 49ers will win the NFC West
A young team that might have the tools to become a contender in the West. After an injury plagued and inconsistent 2007, Frank Gore should thrive under the same Mike Martz offense that made Marshall Faulk a superstar. This could be a make or break type year for Alex Smith who has yet to live up to the #1 Draft Pick Hype, but also has had literally no one to throw to. Vernon Davis, who has been in more Under Armour commercials than actual games, needs to step it up like the physical monstrosity that he is. NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Patrick Willis and newcomer Kentwan Balmer look to solidify the Niner D.
Why the San Francisco 49ers will not win the NFC West
A slew of young and inexperienced players does not bode well for creating a competitive season for Mike Nolan. Couple that with a QB controversy that includes JT O'Sullivan (I think I've been drunk there before) and Shaun Hill (who is not a pitcher for the Nationals) and you can expect a season of extraordinary suck. After watching this team turn last season into a giant dump, it's hard to imagine them becoming a contender, especially with basically the same cast as last year. New offensive coordinator Mike Martz isn't lightning in a bottle, and will probably find a way to completely fuck up this offense like he did with the Lions in the past.
Why the Seattle Seahawks will win the NFC West
Matt Hasselbeck (who is now completely bald) will be leading the charge for a Seahawk team that has been contenders now for the past five years. Hasselbeck is a terrific quarterback, possibly the best in the NFL, and this has nothing to do with his alma mater. Nothing whatsoever. Defense has always been a strong suit for this team, and this year will not be any different. LB Lofa Tatupu is a game-changing defensive player, and Julian Peterson is solid as well. The Seahawks kept their secondary together, signing Marcus Trufant to an absurd contract that will promise to screw the team's salary cap for years to come. It also doesn't hurt that they play in a division with three teams that couldn't compete in the SEC. Matt Hasselbeck... BC
Why the Seattle Seahawks will not win the NFC West
Gone is Shaun Alexander (well, to be fair he wasn't on the team at all last year either), who for some reason (probably because his knees are completely gone) can't find a team. In for the second year is Maurice Morris, who shows flashes of being a starting RB but at other times looks like Tyrone Wheatley, fumbling and getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Having no running game whatsoever will expose the mediocre core of receivers and force Hasselbeck into making mistakes. Deion Branch is officially out until the first week of the season, but could be out until October, and because this is a knee injury his season could turn south quickly.
Why the St. Louis Rams will win the NFC West
There is no way the Rams can be as bad as they were last year... well, at least on paper they can't be that bad. Marc Bulger was hurt for almost all of '07, and if he can stay healthy he is a huge upgrade over Trent Green. Offensive lineman Orlando Pace will return this season, he alone could make this offense glue. It was his injury last year that caused the massive clusterfuck otherwise known as the Rams offense. Stephen Jackson, who proceeded to fuck my fantasy football team, needs to have a break-out year and lead the offense that was so very very bad last year.
Why the St. Louis Rams will not win the NFC West
The Rams better fix this Stephen Jackson contract dispute soon, because he is the glue for this team. If he misses time the Rams are in serious trouble.Looking at the Rams depth chart right now, if Jackson misses time Antonio Pittman would be the starting RB... no seriously Antonio Pittman from THE Ohio State. Torry Holt is playing with a bad knee and that could affect him, and if he misses time Drew "White Lightning" Bennett would be the only other real "threat" on offense. Behind those two is a boatload of garbage. Dante "ESPN wet dream" Hall and Dane Looker would be the other top receivers. Gross. I would guess God would also want to see the Rams lose as long as Leonard Little is on the team.
Why the Arizona Cardinals will win the NFC West
Here it is: it's time for Matt Leinart to show that he is an actual NFL Quarterback and not just some drunk frat boy that nails your girlfriend. He has the team set to win this year with Boldin and Fitzgerald both healthy. The Cardinals could have a prolific offense this year that wins them games... wouldn't that be a change of pace? That would be like me trying to talk to a girl at a bar, and she actually starts a conversation. They are both events that NEVER happen. The Cards drafted well, grabbing Dominique Rodgers Cromartie, which gives them a young potential superstar at the cornerback position. He may take a while to get used to the speed of the NFL, but if the scouts are right Cromartie has the making to be a difference maker.
Why the Arizona Cardinals will not win the NFC West
The rest of this defense is simply terrible. They have trouble putting pressure on quarterbacks, finishing 28th in passing defense last year, and did little to address this problem in the off season. Edgerrin James is old, very old, and had almost as many fumbles (5) as TDs (7) last year. Finally, can you really say that the Cardinals are actually going to win? The Cardinals for years have been the laughing stock of the NFL, so it's hard to envision them actually winning, even if their team is good enough to compete.
Hazel Maes Landing Strip's Pick to Win: The Seattle Seahawks. I have tried to be liberal in picking some reaches in these previews but I can't justify picking any of the other three teams. The 49ers are a season removed from going 5-11, the Rams 3-13 and the Cardinals 8-8. None of these three teams did enough to actually become contenders, which is sad because I think the Seahawks aren't that great of a team either but will win the division by default.
A Pimp Named DaveR's Pick to Win: You know what I hate? When you're eating a bag of Cheetoes or Jax, and there's the one Jax that's made COMPLETELY out of the salt/cheese dust that
will kill me at age 41 makes them so tasty, and you eat it thinking it's a regular Jax... but it isn't, and suddenly your mouth is filled with the salt/cheese equivalent of about 500,000 Jax, and you suspect that you may never have the use of your taste buds ever again. And there's like one of those in every other bag! I mean, quality control, people! Oh -- football, yeah. I think I have to go with HMLS on this one. Seahawks by default. Although I wouldn't be completely surprised if the Rams or Cardinals won the division with a 7-9 record or something. Just remember -- Matt Leinart = USC Pus-Covered Douchenozzle. That is all.
futuremrsrickankiel's Pick to Win: Goddamn it. You guys both picked the C-Hox, who are obviously the only team in this division that actually knows how to play football. (Seriously, I almost died laughing when I read the phrase, "Why The St. Louis Rams Will Win The NFC West.") But it's no fun if we all pick the same team. And you know what? I like Matt Leinart. In fact, I LOVE Matt Leinart. I also love Larry Fitzgerald. And the Cardinals have a pretty easy schedule... they're good for at least one win against Seattle, and I'm sure they can beat both the Rams and the 49ers twice. Plus, they get to play the AFC East, which means that we will stomp all over them BUT they'll also get 3 wins basically handed to them against Miami, Buffalo, and Brett Motherfucking Favre. That's 8 wins I think the Cardinals are perfectly capable of getting. So here it is: I pick the Cardinals to win the NFC West. Why? Because fuck you, that's why.
GHABB,Y!'s Pick to Win:Though this pick is less inspired than a post-2000 Metallica album, I'll take Seattle, on account of "everyone else sucks immensely." I hope the Cardinals win though and Matt Leinart celebrates by fucking Dakota Fanning in the ear.