2007 NFC West Football Picks & Predictions
Seattle Seahawks – NFC West Football Predictions
Though the Seahawks only helped themselves minimally in both the draft and free agency, they will be the favorite to win this division once again on the strength of their coaching and experience, if not overall talent. Seattle gave up their first round draft pick to get Deion Branch last season, but their best pick in this year’s draft, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, will shore up a problematic defensive line along with veteran defensive end Patrick Kerney, acquired in free agency. None of the Seahawks’ transactions will matter much if running back Shawn Alexander and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck can’t bounce back from an injury-plagued 2006. Simply put, the rest of the teams in this division are gaining ground on the Seahawks – and it may not be long before one of them takes the division title in the process.
San Francisco – NFC West Football Predictions
Speaking of teams that are gaining on the Seahawks, look no further than the San Francisco 49ers, who overachieved immensely last season to reach 7-9 with plenty of room for improvement. The Niners had one of the best drafts of any team in the league, grabbing three possible first-year starters in linebacker Patrick Willis, offensive tackle Joe Staley and wide receiver Jason Hill. San Francisco also did fairly well in free agency, bringing in several veteran players who should help them to improve even more in 2007. The additions of cornerback Nate Clemens and safety Michael Lewis should help to shore up their suspect defensive secondary. Darrell Jackson, former Seahawk number one receiver, will give Alex Smith a big target. If Jackson can hang onto the ball, his size and experience will be a huge asset for the offense.
Arizona Cardinals – NFC West Football Predictions
The Arizona Cardinals are going to be a tough team to figure out in 2007, at least in the early going, as new head coach Ken Whisenhunt prepares for his first year as an NFL head coach. While the Cardinals certainly have some important pieces in place, they are still lacking in too many areas to make a real run at winning this division in 2007. The Cardinals did have an excellent draft, grabbing two players that will immediately start in offensive tackle Levi Brown and defensive tackle Alan Branch. Arizona also did fairly well in free agency and cornerback Rod Hood is going to open some eyes. They may be another year or two away from becoming a very good team, but Matt Leinart and company could surprise several teams that take them too lightly in 2007.
St. Louis Rams – NFC West Football Predictions
After starting the 2006 season like gangbusters, winning four of their first five games, the Rams fell in the middle of the season before winning their final three regular season games to finish at a respectable 8-8 under first year head coach Scott Linehan. St. Louis also did well in free agency and the draft, grabbing former Nebraska defensive tackle Adam Carriker and former Rutgers fullback Brian Leonard – two players who will immediately challenge for starting spots as rookies. The Rams also signed veterans Dante Hall, Todd Steussie, Randy McMichael and Drew Bennett, four players who know how to play the game and should help upgrade the Rams offense enormously.