NFL Preview 2012 Bold Predictions: NFC West

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
NFL Preview 2012 Bold Predictions: NFC West
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Can They Do It Again

The 2012 NFL preseason will kickoff in less than a month.  Over the next few days I will be evaluating the league division by division.  Providing 2011 season recaps, predictions, odds and fantasy insight. 

 

 

NFC West

 

San Francisco 49ersCoach Jim Harbaugh burst onto the NFL coaching scene last season, having in many people’s opinion, the greatest rookie season any NFL coach has ever had. 

Coach Harbaugh led the 49ers to a seven game improvement (13-3) over their 2010 season (6-10).  The 49ers defense led by LB Patrick Willis ranked 3rd overall and 1st against the run, giving up an average of 77.2 rushing yards per game. 

With no key losses on defense and no significant injuries to date, the 49ers defense should maintain the same level of production.  Alex Smith has some new best friends on offense since the 49ers have added Randy Moss and Mario Manningham to significantly upgrade their receiving core.

 

 

Arizona Cardinals:  Is there a guy in the NFL that you feel worse for than Larry Fitzgerald?  Fitzgerald put up 1,411 receiving yards on 80 catches with 8 touchdowns with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton throwing him the ball (amazing). 

The Cardinals ground game both on offense and defense were ranked 24th and 21st respectively.  The Cardinals have failed to add any key players on either side of the ball to improve upon what they did last year. 

 

Will There Be A Surprise Winner In The NFC West

Submit Vote vote to see results

 

Seattle SeahawksIn 2011 the Seahawks pulled out some surprising victories (at Giants, Ravens, Eagles & at Bears) that they can build on for 2012. 

Coach Pete Carroll lit a fire under previously underachieving running back Marshawn Lynch, whom produced 1,204 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.  The Seahawks also added QB Matt Flynn from the Packers and are essentially putting the franchise in his hands.  The Seahawks defense was deceptively solid last season ranking 7th in points allowed and 9th in yards per game. 

 

 

St. Louis Rams: Veteran head coach Jeff Fisher steps into his first season with the Rams with a lot of work to do. In 2011 the Rams finished last in defending the run giving up a ridiculous 152 rushing yards per game. 

During Fisher’s tenure with the Titans his defense was consistently a solid unit, and he hopes to bring that to the Rams.  Veteran CB Courtland Finnegan followed Fisher from Tennessee to St. Louis, so his leadership in the secondary should help set the tone for improvement. 

The Rams were terrible on offense as well, averaging 12.1 points per game. 

 

 

Predictions:

 

Division Champions: San Francisco 49ers

 

Division MVP: Matt Flynn

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

 

Division Rookie of the Year:  RB LaMichael James (49ers)

 

Bargain Fantasy Value

 

49ers:  QB Alex Smith, RB LaMichael James, WR Mario Manningham.

 

Seahawks: QB Matt Flynn, WR Sidney Rice, TE Kellen Winslow.

 

St Louis Rams: WR Brian Quick, RB Isaiah Pead.

 

Arizona Cardinals: WR Michael Floyd, RB Beanie Wells

 

Odds

 

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

To Win Division:

 

Arizona Cardinals          5 to 1

San Francisco 49ers     4 to 11

Seattle Seahawks         5 to 1

St. Louis Rams            10 to 1

 

Super Bowl

 

Arizona Cardinals          100 to 1

San Francisco 49ers      7 to 1

Seattle Seahawks         70 to 1

St. Louis Rams            200 to 1

 

Follow My Tweets: @TM_Nelson

Load More Stories

Follow San Francisco 49ers from B/R on Facebook

Follow San Francisco 49ers from B/R on Facebook and get the latest updates straight to your newsfeed!

Out of Bounds

San Francisco 49ers

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.