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1. Seattle Seahawks
This division will be one of the most competitive in the league, but not really in a good way. When Jim Mora coached the Falcons, his teams led the league in rushing yards all three years (04-06).
He has Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett, and a healthy Matt Hasselbeck. TJ Houshmanzadeh only adds to the deadly equation.
On defense, the Seahawks have perhaps the best LB corps in the league with Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill, and Aaron Curry. They take the division in a close one.
Prediction: 9-7, No. 4 seed
2. Arizona Cardinals
If the Cardinals can play defense like they did last season, then they will be great. But if the preseason is any indication, the Cardinals will be playing shootouts all year long.
Also, they need Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells to step up in the run game, which was last in the league in 2008.
Prediction: 8-8, miss playoffs
3. San Francisco 49ers
Right now, the Niners have a lot of problems on and off the field. They recently named Shaun Hill their starting quarterback, but it still does not really fix anything.
Hill was last year's starter by season's end and they knew it was going to happen.
I like Mike Singletary trying to build the defense around Patrick Willis, one of the league's best linebackers.
With players like Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree however, there will be issues with this team. I think they take a small step back.
Prediction: 7-9, miss playoffs
4. St. Louis Rams
And with the number one overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft the St. Louis Rams select...Sam Bradford, quarterback; Oklahoma.
The Rams simply do not have the talent anymore to compete in this league. They cut the defense's leading tackler, Pino Tinoisamoa, and Tye Hill, the three years removed from being the number 15 overall draft pick.
Steven Jackson and Donnie Avery are two fine young talents. They need a quarterback who can stay on the field for 16 straight games, maybe longer.
Steve Spagnuolo wants a new QB in St. Louis, and this year is make or break for Marc Bulger.
Prediction: 2-14, miss playoffs