The Seahawks have won five of the prior seven divisional titles. This accomplishment is somewhat lacking prowess, though, particularly on the heels of their 7-9 title last season.
Seattle Seahawks: 9-7 (7-9)
Seattle is in year two of a major roster overhaul under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. They have revamped their offense under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach Tom Cable.
There are concerns about their QB position, but if their offensive line can miraculously gel during training camp they could surprise a few teams in 2011.
St. Louis Rams: 8-8 (7-9)
The Rams had an amazing recovery in 2010 and were just short of making the playoffs. They had very few upgrades on defense, but the unit showed significant growth.
If Sam Bradford's weapons can stay healthy this season they could get back into the postseason for the first time since 2004.
A brutal schedule to start the season will undermine the Rams' efforts in 2011.
Arizona Cardinals: 5-11 (5-11)
The Cardinals are banking on an unproven QB to find success behind a currently underwhelming offensive line. Their running backs are even more questionable, and their receiving corps took yet another hit with the loss of Steve Breaston.
Their defense will be relying on rookie Patrick Peterson, and the loss of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be felt.
San Francisco 49ers: 5-11 (6-10)
The 49ers have been considered under-performers for several seasons. The good news for 2011 is the complete breakdown of the front office in free agency will take the pressure off of the players.
The team could be hard-pressed to meet their salary cap obligations with the dwindling talent available in free agency.
I've been critical of Jed York and Trent Baalke. They lack experience in running an NFL franchise, and draft-day jitters have led to surrendering important draft picks.