The NFC West is a wide open division this season, and the 2010 NFC West preview has to take into account how the four teams have tried to evolve over the past few seasons. It appears that the run of division titles is over for the Arizona Cardinals, much like the run of the Seattle Seahawks came to an end a few seasons back. That leaves the NFC West ripe for a takeover by the San Francisco 49ers, but has the franchise done enough to put a great team on the field for head coach Mike Singletary? On the opposite side of the spectrum are the St. Louis Rams, who still don’t look like they are ready to compete for more than a couple wins in the 2010 NFL season.
2010 NFC West Preview
Sam Bradford was the No. 1 selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, and is looking pretty good in the preseason for the St. Louis Rams. He could very well be the quarterback of the future in the NFC West, but he is also someone that will take a few years before he is ready to compete on a weekly basis. Until then, this Rams team looks like it could be flashy on offense, but could also be even weaker on defense. Stephen Jackson is the best running back in the NFC West, giving the Rams a very nice weapon, but they won’t be very successful in the 2010 season.
The Seattle Seahawks have just nine wins total over the past two seasons, and that really brought an end to their dominance in the division. Seattle has a new head coach in Pete Carroll, who will look to bring some of his success from the college level into the pros. He also has a healthy Matt Hasselbeck to work with, so that is a huge bonus for this team. Expect the Seahawks defense to surprise football fans this season, but they could also struggle to put some points on the board this season. They again will only go as far as Hasselbeck can take them, but this team needs to stay healthy to have a chance at the division.
The Arizona Cardinals are about to venture into new territory without Kurt Warner, and that brings quite a few questions for the 2010 season. Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson are still competing to try and take the starting quarterback slot, but the offensive weapons have decreased over in Arizona, and they will rely even more on the defense to keep them close in 2010. It won’t be easy, and the Cardinals also face a tougher schedule than everyone else in the division because of where they finished the 2009 regular season in the standings.
The San Francisco 49ers are the team to watch in the NFC West this season, and they will really be leaning hard on head coach Mike Singletary to get more out of his players than expected. Running back Frank Gore, quarterback Alex Smith, and wide receiver Michael Crabtree will all have to put up impressive seasons for the 49ers to compete with the rest of the NFC, and though they are the early favorites in the West, they aren’t getting put on par with the elite that the NFC has to offer. Expect the 49ers to head towards double digits in wins for the first time in a long time.
2010 NFC West Predictions
1. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)
2. Seattle Seahawks (9-7)
3. Arizona Cardinals (6-10)
4. St. Louis Rams (5-11)