NFC West predictions

brenda warner
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1) Seattle Seahawks – 12-4 – We don’t buy the whole Super Bowl let-down theory. They play in a division that rivals the XFL and have players in their prime across both units. Julian Peterson should be very effective rushing the passer. Bryce Fisher, Rocky Bernard and Grant Winstrom make up an active defensive line. The secondary is a bit of a question mark but shouldn’t get challenged too often due to the disruptive play of the front seven. On offense Nate Burleson should make a contribution and while Alexander will miss Steve Hutchinson’s blocking, they still should be a top unit. Expect 12 wins from Seattle and homefield advantage in the NFC.

2) St. Louis Rams – 8-8 – Here’s a team that has some potential to surprise us. We’re not sure why people are so down on Mark Bulger. He still can throw the ball down the field and has had success passing to Holt, Bruce, Curtis and company. Steven Jackson should rush for 1,500 yards if given the opportunity. The OL is above average with second year player Alex Barron looking like he could finally be the adequate tackle the Rams have been looking for to line-up opposite Orlando Pace. What worries us is the defense where besides the underrated linebacker Will Witherspoon, the Rams don’t seem to have much of a pass rush or a secondary.

3) Arizona Cardinals – 6-10 – We’re not buying the hype. Kurt Warner is washed up, Edgerrin James will look average behind a terrible offensive line and the defense is nothing special. Great wide receivers doesn’t alone make a winning football team. Expect a below average season and Denny Green back on the ESPN2 fishing show.

4) San Francisco 49ers – 4-12 – We actually think the 49ers will be considerably better then last year. Alex Smith can’t possibly be as bad as he was last year. Frank Gore should rush for a thousand yards and Antonio Bryant will be a free agent coup for new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. That said, this team is incredibly young and thin and we don’t see how this defense can stop opposing team’s offenses. Mike Nolan gets the 49ers ready to play hard so expect them to be a competitive team but lose a great majority of their contests.

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