The National Football Conference West has seemingly been one of the most difficult divisions among their counterparts. Just last season, three out of the four teams made it to the playoffs, which resulted in a Super Bowl victory for the Los Angeles Rams. With various trades, contract negotiations and quarterback turmoil, how will the NFC West look this upcoming 2022 season?
4.) Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks may hold the most uncertainty among other teams in the NFC West. Just a couple months ago, the Seahawks made a shocking move as they traded their franchise quarterback to the Denver Broncos. In addition, they released all-pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. According to head coach Pete Carroll, quarterback Geno Smith is now in the driver’s seat. Smith played four games for the Seahawks last season and completed 65 of 95 passes. Though these numbers may not stand out, Smith has offensive weapons in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. With more time and first-team reps, Smith can get acclimated to this blistering Seahawk offense. However, with the departure of Wilson and Wagner, the 2022 Seahawks are just not prepared enough to make it out of their division, as they will sit in last place.
3.) Arizona Cardinals
Like the Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals have some turmoil within their organization, as Kyler Murray seeks a new contract and DeAndre Hopkins faces a six-game suspension. Luckily for Cardinals fans, these problems may not be too detrimental to their success, as the Cardinals made it to the playoffs with a 11-6 record despite Murray playing 14 games and Hopkins only playing in 10. However, their upcoming schedule reveals itself to be tougher, as they will play AFC Champion, the Cincinnati Bengals, as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers. With this difficult road in mind, the Cardinals will fall to third in the NFC West, but do not count them out of the playoffs just yet.
2.) San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers made a deep run in the playoffs last season after barely making it out of their division with a 10-7 record. This was all in the face of an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who the team seems to be moving on from as they look towards a future in second-year quarterback Trey Lance. With a high-ranked defense and solid offensive scheme, an inexperienced quarterback does not seem likely to be the downfall of the 49ers 2022 season. However, the ongoing contract negotiations with star-player Deebo Samuel has fans biting their nails. The 49ers organization is confident that they will be able to bring back the wide receiver/running back hybrid, especially considering the fact that Samuel attended the team’s offseason program in early June. This agreement will be a pivotal part of how the 49ers will slide into second place.
1.) Los Angeles Rams
To many people, the Los Angeles Rams are favorites to win the division due to their recent Super Bowl LVI victory, but they also had some major additions this offseason. One could make the argument that they could crumble after losing Von Miller, Andrew Whitworth, and Odell Beckham Jr (injury). However, the Rams have extended Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp with high-end contracts. These players will surely keep this Rams team going for the next couple years. Additionally, the Rams gained a new, yet familiar, face in ex-Seahawk Bobby Wagner. The Rams may not be the flashiest team in the NFC West, but they are a star-studded team on both sides of the ball. Key players, such as Jalen Ramsey and the aforementioned Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp will ensure that the Rams finish out on top of their division.