Quick NFC West Thoughts

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

1. Can Arians coach his team to the NFC West Title again? Possibly, no doubt the Cardinals added the most talent this offseason trading for Chandler Jones and signing Evan Mathis.  The biggest issue on defense for the Cardinals was pass rush, ranking in the bottom of the NFL in number of Sacks.  That's where Jones comes in. Chandler Jones should contribute 10 as an individual and help his teammates get some by garnering a ton of attention.  Also with their 1st RD pick the Cardinals bolstered their interior rush with Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss.  What he does best is collapse the pocket and pressure the QB.  This will help the Cardinals quest to keep the Seahawks at number 2. Want proof? Look at Russell Wilson's struggles against the Rams since they drafted Aaron Donald who is the best interior pass rusher in the NFL.  So can Arians coach his team to the NFC West title again? Too early to tell, but I give them slightly better odds than the field given Arian's coaching ability.

2. Are the Seahawks concerned with Thomas Rawls ability or recovery? Their answer is no. They say he will be ready at the start of training camp.  I have my doubts though.  Seattle drafted 3 running backs, and used a 3rd round pick on CJ Prosise of Notre Dame.  It's been said that Prosise will assume more of the Fred Jackson role.  A 3rd round pick is a lot to invest in a 3rd down back.  I think it might signal more.  Carroll has a history of stock piling player at a position he doesn't believe there isn't a clear cut starter.  Think of QB in in Seattle, Whitehurst, Flynn, Jackson and then finally getting it right with Russell Wilson.  He did it at USC with the RB position after Bush and White left the program.  He successfully recruited 6 4 and 5 star recruits to USC while trying to find someone to replace the void left by Bush and White.  It's my belief based on Carroll's history that Rawls might not be as far a long in recovery as Schneider is saying.  It seems like the Seahawks are stock piling player at a position again hoping one stands out.  That could be Rawls, it could be Prosise, it could be no one.  Seattle will still be successful given the defense and Wilson's progression, but fantasy owners don't bank on Rawls just yet.  

3. How long until Jeff Fisher is fired? Jeff Fisher is the most over rated coach in the NFL.  3 playoff appearances in over 20 years of coaching.  He's never been over .500 with the Rams and he's on his 3rd hand selected QB. Bradford, then Foles (that was a shit show of a trade) now Goff.  Jared Goff has a ceiling of Alex Smith, and a Floor of Kyle Boeller.  Problem is, he's coached by Jeff Fisher, so we're looking at a QB in need of some help.  I'm calling Jeff Fisher being the first coached fired at the Season's end and Jon Gruden as coach of the LA Rams soon.  Then they'll promptly win the NFC West because Gruden can flat out coach football.

4. How bad will the 49ers be? 4 wins minimum 8 wins maximum. 10 wins if Chip Kelly is as good as I think he is, or less even if he's as good as I think he is.  A team who let their QB meet with another team.  A team who's best defensive player might be a Safety who is playing Corner. You haven't heard of him, but Jimme Ward is a really good football player.  If he's not their best player than it's Navorro Bowman or Joe Staley and their studs.  There is a lack of talent on the 49ers roster, it's obvious.  They might contend for the #1 pick. That's fine, Jed York (team CEO) ruined the team and now Chip Kelly has to rebuild it.  If he can do what he did at Oregon, he will, or he'll be a lame duck. In 3 years time, we will no.  Remember Pete Carroll went 7-9 twice before posting an 11-5 record his 3rd year.

5. Will Tom Brady run up to Richard Sherman and say "You mad Bro" after the Patriots beat Seattle in Foxboro? Probably not, he's not childish and can just tell him Malcolm Butler is better.

6. Who is the best player in the NFC West? Todd Gurely. Need evidence? Just watch the tape. He might be the NFL's best back already.

7. Did a Seattle win in Minnesota cost them a shot at the division this year? Yes and No.  So Seattle had to play at Minnesota and not at Green Bay in the playoffs.  That scenario might cost the mean the division for them.  If you don't understand, here it is; Seattle and GB were both 2nd in their division, meaning Seattle plays Green Bay, while Arizona plays Minnesota.   Aaron Rodgers with a healthy Jordy Nelson at Lambeau, good luck. Not saying Seattle can't win, just telling you now they won't.  If it comes down to one game, this might be it. Or...

8. Tom Brady being suspended delighted some Seattle fans I work with, but it might cost them the division.  Arizona again gets the better of this deal.  While AZ and Seattle both play New England, AZ plays them with no Tom Brady.  Seattle plays them with Tom Brady, and in November.  Go look up the Pats record at home in November and December with Tom Brady, It's insane. Advantage Arizona, again.

I definitely have a lot more thoughts on this division.  But it's May, and they can be proven wrong in the next two months so I will keep some to myself.  I think Arizona wins the division.  Seattle finished 9-7 if they get off to a slow start again because their 2nd half schedule is harder this year.  If they start fast, the division race will be interesting. The Rams will finish 7-9 again. LOL at Jeff Fisher. The 49ers will finish 6-10, and Chip Kelly should be coach of the year if that happens. Seriously. Everything can change with an injury, but Arizona has an offensive line to protect Palmer, and will have a very good defense. I just don't see anyone keeping pace with them this year. Thanks for reading