NFL Playoffs Picture 2019: NFC West Teams Ranked

There is an argument to be made for the NFC West being one of the most exciting divisions in the league this season.

After all, in the Los Angeles Rams and Kyler Murray it contains the defending NFC champions and the number one overall pick of the NFL draft.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks have added one of the best pass-rushers in the league in the shape of Jadeveon Clowney and the San Francisco 49ers welcome back Jimmy Garoppolo after a season out.

Here's what to expect from NFC West this time out.

Los Angeles Rams

Seven months on after losing to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, the Rams are looking to go one step better this season.

The defending NFC champions have been relatively quiet in the offseason, adding former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews to an already outstanding defense.

The Rams have also recruited veteran safety Eric Weddle from the Baltimore Ravens and Blake Bortles should prove a good back-up to Jared Goff.

Goff will be relishing the prospect of having Cooper Kupp back, after the wide receiver tore his ACL in Week 4 last season. The Rams' offense was among the most explosive in the league, but much will depend on Todd Gurley's form. The running back tallied 21 touchdowns but struggled with a knee injury in the postseason and had only 35 rushing yards over 10 carries in the Super Bowl.

According to Oddschecker, Sean McVay's team is 3/5 favorite to win the division and there is little to suggest they won't.

Prediction: 11-5

Los Angeles Rams, Jared Goff
Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams laughs with Jared Goff #16 before a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 24 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks went 10-6 last season and their prospects for the upcoming season suggest they could even improve on that record. Seattle signed quarterback Russell Wilson to a four-year extension worth $140 million, but the potential season-defining move came last week when they acquired Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans.

The number one overall pick of the 2014 draft is arguably one of the best pass-rushers in the league and if he can stay healthy he could transform Seattle's defense.

Welcome to Seattle, @clownejd! 😎#GoHawks

— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 1, 2019

Former Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf looks a steal after being picked in the second round and it will be intriguing to see how he links up with Wilson.

The Seahawks are 29/10 to win the division for the first time since 2016 and could spring a few surprises.

Prediction: 10-6

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers went 4-12 in 2018 but there is mild optimism in the Bay Area, largely as there are hopes the avalanche of injuries that ravaged the roster last season won't be repeated.

Jimmy Garoppolo is back after tearing his ACL in Week 3 and the quarterback will be key to his team's hopes. Tom Brady's former understudy in New England, Garoppolo led his team to five wins in his first five games since being traded to San Francisco and the 49ers will hope he can rediscover his form.

On the defensive side of the ball, the 49ers have added edge rusher Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, the second overall pick of this year's draft.

At 5/1 the 49ers are a relatively long shot to win a first divisional title since 2012 but should nevertheless improve on last season's showing.

Prediction: 8-8

Arizona Cardinals

After a dismal 3-13 season, the Cardinals felt it was time to roll the dice and fired first-year coach Steve Wilks and replaced him with another rookie coach, Kliff Kingsbury.

The former Texas Tech head coach takes with him an exciting offense and a new defensive coordinator, Vance Joseph, who should shore up the Cardinals' defense.

The main addition, however, came from the draft, where the Cardinals selected Kyler Murray with the number one overall pick.

In his final season for Oklahoma, Murray threw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns, adding an incredible 1,001 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

The prototype of a dual-threat quarterback, the jury remains out on the kind of impact the 21-year-old will have in professional football, particularly as he is the shortest quarterback in the NFL, at just under 5ft 10.

The Cardinals are 29/1 outsiders to win the division and the first season of the Kingsbury-Murray era should be the first step in a major rebuild.

Prediction: 4-12

About the writer

Dan Cancian is currently a reporter for Newsweek based in London, England. Prior to joining Newsweek in January 2018, he was a news and business reporter at International Business Times UK. Dan has also written for The Guardian and The Observer. 

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