NFC West Preview: Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams

When it comes to defense, the teams in the NFC West are some of the most powerful and dangerous in the whole league.

 

Source: Pat Lovell/ USA Today Sports

Source: Pat Lovell/ USA Today Sports

 

While most people see it as a two horse race between the defending world champion Seahawks and the 49ers, the Rams and Cardinals can not be taken lightly.

 

St. Louis Rams

 

While the Saint Louis Rams weren’t one of the biggest players in free agency, they have still impressed many people with their off-season.

 

This came via the draft as they strengthened their offensive and defensive lines, while they also added some depth to their safety.

 

With whoever will replace the injured Sam Bradford needing some more protection, they picked up offensive tackle Greg Robinson with the second pick of the draft.

 

With the 13th pick they selected Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald who will add even more firepower to their feared defense.

 

While their defense is set to do some damage to opposition Quarterbacks this year, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher will be looking to get more out of his struggling offense.

 

Expect the Rams to struggle on offense without their injured quarterback Sam Bradford.

 

San Francisco 49ers

 

After making a Superbowl and an NFC Championship game in the past two years, the San Francisco 49ers will be looking to take that next step to Superbowl glory this season.

 

Despite losing a couple of defensive weapons, the men from San Francisco still possess some serious talent and experience.

 

After a breakout 2012 season, Colin Kaepernick was a bit quieter last year, so expect him to come out in 2014 all guns blazing as he looks to set the tone early for his team.

 

If injury prone wide receiver Michael Crabtree is able to stay healthy, then their offense could have what it needs to get over the top of the Seahawks, who they are bound to come up against at some stage late in the season.

 

Although there has been a lot of controversy around some of their players off field actions over the break, expect guys like Justin and Aldon Smith to respond with strong performances on the field.

 

Seattle Seahawks

 

Just about everything that could have gone right, did go right for the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 as they finished with a mammoth victory in the Superbowl over the more fancied Broncos.

 

When you think of the Seahawks, their incredible defense comes to mind and don’t expect anything different this season as they will be looking to go back-to-back.

 

Led by the all conquering and trash talking corner back Richard Sherman, the Seahawks defensive unit will be looking to maintain their reputation as the best in the league with some solid competition for that title coming from within their own division.

 

When it comes to scoring points this season, Russell Wilson’s job will be made tougher with the departure of gun wide receiver Golden Tate over the off-season.

 

But expect Doug Baldwin and Percy Harvin to fill Tate’s shoes strongly when push comes to shove, while Marshawn Lynch will continue to monster opposition defensive units.

 

Arizona Cardinals

 

Up until last season, the Arizona Cardinals were almost a forgotten, joke of a team, who were the whipping boys for the division rivals.

 

But not anymore, under the tutelage of head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the Cardinals have become a serious challenge for opponents to handle.

 

With guys like Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie at his disposal, expect Bowles to have plenty of tricks up his sleeve come week one.

 

But even though their defense held down the fort last season, the Cardinals offense needs to get seriously better if they want to contend in the toughest division in the league.

 

Finding a reliable Quarterback has been tough for the Cardinals, but they look as if they will be able to squeeze a couple more years out of Carson Palmer.

 

With weapons like Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and draft pick Troy Niklas from Notre Dame, expect Arizona to cause a couple of serious upsets this season.

 

Written by: Joe Schwab @Meadowswidget

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