May 13, 2013 Leave a comment
The NFC West seems to be a pretty cut and dry division this year. The 49ers are at the top, Seahawks are right there, and the Rams and the Cardinals are on the wayside. But maybe it’s not as cut and dry as we see it to be, the 49ers have struggled quite a bit in division play, have not made the moves that the Seahawks did in the off-season, their secondary isn’t as good as it used to be, and lastly I see the 49ers descending, while I see the Seahawks ascending
We all know the favorite to win the NFC and go to the Super Bowl is the 49ers, but I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as they say it is. Last year the 49ers only went 3-2-1 in the division, and could have gone 3-3 if they didn’t call back a deep pass to Amendola which would have secured them the win with a chip shot field goal. The 49ers have a stifling front seven, but their secondary lacks some talent now. They recently lost Dashon Goldson, Carlos Rogers is getting up there in age, and we do not know how good Nnamdi Asmougha is going to be. They did make some off-season moves, to get: Anquan Boldin and Nnamdi Asmougha, but I don’t think that puts them over the edge. Manningham, was supposed to be a great addition, but he didn’t quite pan out either. A.J Jenkins was supposed to be a good pick and has actually proven to almost be a liability instead of an asset to the team based on reports of attitude and unwillingness to work out and stay in shape. I don’t see their receiving corps as being top end, or even middle of the pack to be honest. Also, Kaepernick had an outstanding season last year, but only threw for 10 touchdowns last year and rushed for five. Kaepernick actually fumbled the ball seven times, which may prove costly in the future. I’m not trying to bash the 49ers too hard here, but the fact is they aren’t as great as advertised, and when faced against a good defense, they struggle a bit. You can see this in the 2nd Seahawks game and the Ravens in the Super Bowl.
On the other hand, the Seahawks are moving nowhere but up. They traded for Percy Harvin, and signed Cliff Avril to go along with that already good defensive line. Wilson set a rookie record for touchdowns in a season with 26, and will only improve with the addition of Percy Harvin and an improved defense will help get the ball on offense more. Wilson has proven he fits this offense perfectly, he can run the read-option, give it to Marshawn, or make timely passes when needed. And lastly their secondary doesn’t get enough credit. The “League of Boom” has been outstanding they had two pro-bowlers in 2013 one at corner and one at safety. Richard Sherman has been a huge surprise a fifth round pick out of Stanford has been the best cornerback in the NFC by far, alongside with Brandon Browner a tall cover corner who helps shut down the other side of the field. Then in the back they have Earl Thomas (another pro-bowler) who’s an absolute ball-hawk, and plays fast, physical, but most importantly smart. Kam Chancellor was a pro-bowler in 2012, who may be slow, but is great at covering the middle, and hitting them hard. This team is only getting better on both sides of the ball.
Unfortunately I left the Cardinals and the Rams out of this discussion for winning the West. I don’t view them as bad, I view the Cardinals as re-building and the Rams as a team who needs to find a way to put it all together. They are improving, but they simply aren’t quite at the Seahawks or 49ers level just yet. Overall, the NFC West is going to be a competitive division, but as of right now I see the Seahawks overtaking the 49ers in the west. I think they are better in division play, on the rise, and they’ve made some outstanding moves in free agency.