Predictions, prognostications and hunches come down to one thing: No one knows anything.
If anyone—from player to coach to so-called “expert” to fan—could predict a team’s chances in the upcoming season with a regular high-degree of accuracy, there’d be no reason to watch or care. Since no one can or does, the NFL plays out its games. That is, if there is no lockout.
Assuming that the owners and players will work out a new agreement, we can assess the chances from afar. Still, so much is unknown, such as what free agents end up where, whose injury from 2010 lingers in 2011 and what budding star is ready to burst on the scene.
Nonetheless, there seems to be consistent consensus that the NFC West is the weakest sister among the eight NFL divisions. After all, a sub-.500 team, Seattle, made the playoffs with a 7-9 record last year.
Of course, just to show you how unpredictable the NFL can get, Seattle promptly upset the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs.
The Saints were far from the team that vanquished Indianapolis some 11 months earlier (thank you injury god, who knocked out seven New Orleans running backs).
So we wonder and ponder and guess. For what it’s worth, here are seven reasons why the 49ers">San Francisco 49ers will win the NFC West in 2011.