September 08, 2006

Frinklin Football Forecaster: NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks
Before the season last year I said they weren’t good enough. I was wrong. This year I can’t shake the feeling Seattle will fall back to the pack a bit, and they can’t possible get the breaks they did during the season last year. Remember New York, Dallas and San Francisco? This season, at least a couple of those go the other way.

Hope I’m wrong again.

2. Arizona Cardinals
The Buzzsaw was the NFC It Girl before last season, the designated “sleeper” team for anyone and everyone with a pulse and a misguided sense they know football. That might just have been a year early. The Cardinals are a team on the rise, neatly encapsulated by the opening of Cardinal Stadium and the drafting of Matt Leinart. Arizona is loaded at the skill positions, assuming that Kurt Warner can last the season behind a line that doesn’t even qualify as mediocre. The defense is okay, with a couple potential stars (Darnell Dockett, Karlos Dansby) amid a bunch of average defenders.

3. St. Louis Rams
The Rams finally pulled the plug on Mike Martz, vowing to replace him with a strong, tough-minded defensive-oriented coach. The Rams then choose Scott Linehan, a somewhat callow offensive-minded coach known for fancy play-calling. It might make more sense than at first glance. Linehan used a tough, conservative offense last year, his only as offensive coordinator for Miami. That would serve powerback Steven Jackson and brittle quarterback Marc Bulger far better than Martz’s Greatest Show on Turf. The problem? The Rams didn’t play any defense when they were good. They still don’t.

4. San Francisco 49ers
In 2005, Alex Smith might well have been the worst single-season quarterback in NFL history. The first pick in the draft threw 11 picks and fumbled 11 times before he threw his first touchdown pass. That came in the last game of the season. Smith has improved in the preseason but the Niners have to be wondering where his career will go, since he is starting from just about ground zero. Mike Nolan is well-respected around the league, but his team has a long way to go.

Champion: Seattle Seahawks
Wild Card: Arizona Cardinals

PREVIOUS: AFC East, AFC South, AFC North, AFC West, NFC East, NFC South, NFC North

Posted by Frinklin at September 8, 2006 10:42 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?