Sunday, August 14, 2011

NFC West Predictions

The NFC West had one team in the playoffs last year, the 7-9 Seahawks. Once again this division is up for grabs. Here are our predictions for the truley wild west.
Josh Neighbors 4th: Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carrol’s crew has taken multiple steps back this off-season. They have lost Matt Hassleback and have signed Tavaris Jackson. This offense is better suited running the option with Lynch at tailback. Jackson struggled majorly against The Chargers the other night. They added Sydeny Rice at a very expensive price. He is a good vertical threat, but this young offensive line will not give Jackson enough time or him to effectively throw the longball.  Aaron Curry must grow into the defensive leader after the loss of Lofa Tutupu. This team has some serious work to be done.
Connor Jones 4th, Seattle Seahawks: Where should I begin? Seattle made multiple head scratching moves during this years free-agency period. It started with the signing of Tavaris Jackson. Personally, I have seen enough of this guy and I do not believe he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Now I could be wrong, this division is up for grabs and could go anyone teams way. The second surprising move was the signing of Sydney Rice, Rice is a good receiver but he was WAY overpaid but Seattle. Five years and 43 million dollars!!?? Oh yea, also they lost the best thing that has ever happened to their franchise in Matt Hasslebeck.
Josh Neighbors 3rd: San Fransisco 49ers: Last year was supposed to be the year. And I do think the 49ers could easily win this division when I look at the talent on the roster. But, Alex Smith has not showed me enough. Coach Harbaugh travels 45 minutes from Palo Alto to San Fransisco to take over the 49ers, so his comfort level could be boosted. But, anytime a coach comes from college and goes to a professional team it usually takes time for the team to find success. The receiving core has some very good personal, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, and new addition Braylin Edwards. The always steady Frank Gore is in the backfield. With San Fransisco’s quarterback situation, more pressure is placed on Frank Gore to succeed. This could be an issue with his ailing hip. On defense, well its Patrick Willis. The new acquisition of Carlos Rogers will help this secondary. This team has potential to win the division, but the QB position is their downfall.
Connor Jones 3rd, San Francisco 49ers: I believe 3rd place will go to the San Francisco 49ers. This would be a disapointing finish for a team that has a new head coach in Jim Harbaugh and is still sticking with Alex Smith at quarterback. They will rely on another big year from Frank Gore. Teams they face will consistently put eight guys in the box to force Alex Smith to throw the ball. Smith should have enough weapons on the outside to have an open man, they have Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan and newly added Braylon Edwards. Patrick Willis is a great defensive leader who will have another big season. If Alex Smith has an average season leading this team they will win the division, I do not trust him to do it.
Josh Neighbors 2nd: St Louis Rams: Sam Bradford is on the right track in St. Louis. In his first two seasons Bradford has shown steady improvement, game by game. Let’s not forget that his #1 receiver Donnie Avery was out for the entire 2010-2011 season. Stephen Jackson is in the backfield once again for the Rams, which opens up the passing game nicely. Chris Long is developing into a good D lineman and had 8.5 sacks last season. This line also adds Robert Quinn from North Carolina. Seeing Quinn play several times, I can tell you he brings a lot to the table and has potential to be one of the most dominant D-lineman in the league. St. Louis has a tough schedule, but I think they will be able to weather the storm... Weather but not fully succeed. Games against Philly, at NYG, Baltimore, at Green Bay and Pittsburgh. Bradford is going to be a great quarterback, but this is not St. Louis’s year. Look for the to be around .500.
Connor Jones 2nd: St. Louis Rams: St. Louis was one road win at Seattle from making the playoffs last year and once again believe they can make them this year. St. Louis has young quarterback Sam Bradford who is developing into a top 8 quarterback in this league. They have top 5 power runner back in Stephen Jackson so they should be able to run and throw the football again this year. St. Louis should be about equal to what they were last year but with tough road games at the Giants, Green Bay, Dallas, Arizona and Pittsburgh St. Louis will have a 7-9 season.
Josh Neighbors 1st: Arizona Cardinals: Jones has done all of his predictions before me, and I think this is the first time we have agreed top to bottom. Now looking back on it, i can tell you the Giants will not win the NFC East. That prediction was made in June before they made all these moves. Mike Missanelli from ESPN radio Philly told me they were going to make a bunch of moves because Andy Reid’s job is on the line this year... I guess I should have listened to him. I am getting sidetracked though. The Arizona Cardinals will once again be in the playoffs. I have never been a Kevin Kolb fan, and I did not believe he would rise and become one of the elite QB’s in the NFL. But, in Arizona, under Ken Wizenhunt, he has a fresh start and talent all over the place.  At Tight end he has season veteran Tod Heap, and that is also good news for running back Beanie Wells. Heap is known as a great blocker on the end. Larry Fitzgerald is at wide out as usual. Kolb will make sure he takes full advantage of him on the outside. Early Doucet is the #2 receiver, he is 6,0 but he brings ridiculous speed. He is a very explosive target as well. On defense they have a solid player in each tier. Up front it is Darnell Docket. At line backers, its 13 year veteran Joey Porter. And in the secondary, it is rookie Patrick Peterson who I am incredibly high on. Look for him to be returning some kicks as well. Arizona has a very solid team this year.
Connor Jones 1st: Arizona Cardinals: Now, here are some true upgrades. Arizona has a starting quarterback in Kevin Kolb something they did not have all of last season. Someone who can get the ball to star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. They drafted corner back Patrick Peterson and with Adrian Wilson he should boost their secondary. Arizona also drafted running back Ryan Williams and along with Beanie Wells they should be able to run the ball as well as pass. The signing of veteran Todd Heap the pressure will be off Larry Fitzgerald and they will have another leader. With these brilliant signings, Arizona will be back in the playoffs.

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