NFL Season Preview: NFC West
As we move closer to the end of summer, NFL fans are itching for training camps, and the season to begin. Drawn to the hard hitting action and all the intriguing storylines, the demand for NFL football is as high as it has ever been, and the teams of the NFC west attract much of this attention from fans, as it is consistently one of the most competitive divisions.
The NFC West has seen a lot of success over the years, the Seattle Seahawks went to two straight Super Bowls, and won the first. The 49ers, Cardinals, and Rams have also all played in the big game since 2000. Here’s a look at how this exciting division will shape up in the 2015 NFL season.
The Seahawks have been one of the most dominant teams in the league over the last 2 years, led by a defense that makes opposing quarterbacks shutter. After losing on the final play of the season, the Seahawks will be primed and ready to get back to the Super Bowl again this year.
However, Seattle did experience some minor adversity this offseason in the loss of pro-bowl defensive back, Byron Maxwell, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Additionally, a well-deserved contract extension has loomed over the head of both Russell Wilson and the Seahawks all summer, and has yet to be resolved. Fortunately Russell Wilson will be playing, Marshawn Lynch will still be beast mode, and Seattle should be competing for playoff contention once again.
The Cardinals got off to a hot 9-1 start last year behind a talented defense, and a balanced offensive attack, led by Carson Palmer. However, one injury after another at the quarterback position ultimately hampered their chances.
The challenge for the Cardinals this year will be to get production out of a retooled defensive front 7, which was a strength of their team. However, they will have Carson Palmer back from an ACL injury, that otherwise ruined what was turning out to be a vintage season for him. If the defense can play well despite some losses, the Cardinals will be a challenger to the Seahawks atop the division.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers will try to back from a year that proved to be a step back from the level of play that we expect from this franchise. It was a season that was mostly over shadowed by controversy around coach, Jim Harbaugh’s, relationship with the front-office, and some of the top players.
With those issues seemingly resolved and a new coach in place, 49ers fans are feeling hopeful about the upcoming season. In other good news, all reports have given good marks to starting quarterback Collin Kaepernick, who had a down season after signing a sizeable contract extension in the offseason. San Francisco still possess a talented defense, if the offense improves from last year, the 49ers could very well win the division.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams are looking to improve on yet another disappointing season in the gateway city. They were met with adversity early in the year, when Sam Bradford went down with another ACL injury. While St. Louis got hard-fought efforts from back-ups Sean Hill and Austin Davis, they were left out of the playoff picture yet again.
However, while the offense fizzled, the defense kept the Rams in most of their games. In addition, they traded oft-injured Sam Bradford to Philadelphia, in return for quarterback Nick Foles. Foles has shown to have a talented arm, but the questions about him will mostly revolve around his health. A young-talented defense, a new starting quarterback, and a dynamic draft pick in Todd Gurley has Rams fans buzzing about this season. It could be the year for the Rams to retake a place at the top of the division.
While fans are mostly excited about being able to watch their favorite team, it is also important to watch the other teams. In a competitive division like the NFC West, missing a game could mean missing the division champion, or one of the best games of the season. The site http://www.direct-ticket.net/nfl-schedule.html has the times and locations of every game. This way you can follow what the other teams are doing all season long, while never missing any of the home team coverage.
In addition to real football teams, fantasy football teams are also very important to fans. Not only will you be able to watch whatever game you want, but you’ll also be able to stay updated on how your fantasy team is doing. Football season is a major source of entertainment, in more ways than one. As a result, the NFL and its product is more accessible than ever.