By Eric Schmidt

Just three seasons ago, the NFC West was arguably the worst division in the NFL. Whichever teams drew the NFC West could virtually coast for four games. Not anymore. This division has become the toughest in the NFL. San Francisco and Seattle are in the top three teams in the league. St. Louis is poised for big things under the second year of head coach Jeff Fisher. While the Cardinals are playing catch up in this division, the addition of veteran QB Carson Palmer will be a huge improvement this season and Arizona is not a pushover suddenly.

Seattle Seahawks– 13-3 I know it’s a trendy pick this season but I am very high on the Seahawks this season. I love the style of play they demonstrate on the field with the smash mouth running game and ultra aggressive defense. This team has been drafting exceptionally well over the last few seasons and now have the depth to prove it. Show me another team with the depth they have at the corner and running back positions.

San Francisco 49ers -11-5 The Niners are still a fantastic football team but I am expecting a bit of a step back this year. The running game is still potent but the wide receiver situation concerns me. I don’t like the fact that Colt McCoy is the second quarterback. If something happens to QB Colin Kaepernick for an extended period of time, I don’t like McCoy under center.

St. Louis Rams– 9-7 If anyone was paying attention last year, the Rams played their division very well. They took the Niners to overtime twice, winning one with the other game ending in the only tie of the regular season. They split with the Seahawks and destroyed the Cardinals. This is a team with a solid young defense, tied for the most sacks in 2012. St. Louis added some offensive weapons and speed on offense. TE Jared Cook should finally realize his offensive potential this year with a breakout season.

Arizona Cardinals– 8-8 The addition of Carson Palmer is big for the Cardinals this season. In baseball the term is WAR (wins above replacement). Palmer along equals four more wins this season. WR Larry Fitzgerald must be excited to start the season this year. There are still some offensive line issues but this 2013 squard will be much better under head coach Bruce Arians this year.





Filed under: Arizona Cardinals, NFC, NFC West, NFL, Previews-Predictions, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams

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