Could the NFC West Become Competitive?

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Could the NFC West Become Competitive?

I’m going to talk about some things that may unease some 49er fans.

In light of the recent “McNabb trade talks v 8.0” I’ve decided to spitball some possible scenarios where McNabb could possibly make his way to the NFC West. The team that everyone seems he’s interested in going to is the St. Louis Rams. So what if? What if McNabb left the bitter and spoiled fans of Philly and came to the suffering and starving fans of St. Louis?

Heading into this season, the 49ers seem to be among the favorites to win the division. This is not an overwhelming majority, but after Arizona dismantled itself, I think many assume that Alex Smith will take another step in his development and the 49ers will eke into the play-offs.

But if McNabb comes to the Rams, I am going to say our easy path to the postseason is going to have a few (more) bumps in it. Yes, the Rams are much more than a QB away from being a good team. They’re a far cry from being a carbon copy of the Vikings under Tervaris Jackson—but looking at our schedule from last year, I can’t see a team with a really good QB which we beat, with the exception being Arizona.

Just think for a minute what an elite passer like McNabb would do for the wayward Rams: they would no longer be Stephen Jackson and friends. Now instead of just having to worry about Jackson, pounding our chests as we hold him to 75 yards rushing, we’d have to worry about an aerial attack.

I think the Rams are an interesting matchup for us, especially last year, because they highlight our offensive mediocrity. Last year the Rams were so bad because they beat themselves. All we had to do was show up.

The last game of the season was at St. Louis. This game, along with the previous Lions game at home, was supposed to be Smith’s chance to cement his role as our starter going into the offseason. These two teams were the drudges of the league and it was time for Smith to at least have a consistent game. No blow outs needed; just a sign of some poise and pocket presence would have been nice.

He showed neither.

Against the Rams, it took two and a half quarters of football before we were able to punch it in the end zone on a one-yard run. Yes, I know about the Vernon Davis TD pass, but that came with 7:29 left in the fourth quarter. It took that along against the worst team in football before Smith had a memorable pass.

Oh, we weren’t going up against Mark Bulger either. Nope. It was the dreaded double-headed monster of Kyle Boller and Keith Null.

Now imagine if we were playing that game against McNabb.

At the very least with McNabb, unknown Rams receivers like Donnie Avery and Donny Amendola would start to show a little more production.

McNabb would give the abysmal Rams some swagger-some leadership. And how motivated would McNabb be to make the playoffs and beat the Eagles? People seem to forget that he’s won five division titles playing in the toughest division in football…I don’t think the NFC West and the big bad 49ers would make him lose any sleep at night.

Do I think McNabb on the Rams is an automatic division title for St. Louis? No. But I do think, as 49ers fans, we would no longer be able to scroll down to the St. Louis spot on the schedule and say, “St. Louis? Yeah, I’ll just go ahead and pencil this in as a W.”

Now if the 49ers snagged McNabb…that would be interesting.

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