Are the 49ers the NFC West Favorites?
Over the last several years, the NFC West has proven to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. This year is no different, as one could confidently say that every single team has improved in the offseason.
After an injury-plagued season, the San Francisco 49ers are finally getting healthy. Key contributors like Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Jimmy Garoppolo, etc., are set to come back in time for training camp.
The wild card for the team is dynamic young quarterback Trey Lance, who they selected at number three overall in the draft. With all of his unique attributes, it will be interesting to see if/when coach Kyle Shannahan chooses to hand the reins to Lance.
All reports coming out of camp are that both quarterbacks, Lance and Garoppolo, have both looked phenomenal.
In order for San Francisco to not only win the division but make a run at the Super Bowl, coach Kyle Shanahan will have to manage the quarterback situation effectively first and foremost. After all, he is responsible for trading multiple first-round picks to trade up and select Tray Lance out of South Dakota State at third overall.
When/If Kyle will throw Lance into the fire? Shanahan must find a perfect balance between developing the young QB while still winning football games consistently. Yes, Lance is just a rookie, but as it usually goes in the NFL, a team’s championship window is relatively short. The 49ers must take advantage of the talented roster they currently have and go for it all this year.
If it pans out the way he hopes, San Francisco will be a scary team, and Shanahan will have a great case to take home the Coach of the Year trophy.
NFC West Odds
- San Francisco 49ers +180
- Los Angeles Rams +187
- Seattle Seahawks +277
- Arizona Cardinals +550
Winning the division for San Francisco will not be an easy task. Other teams in the NFC West, such as the Rams, Cardinals, and Seahawks, all have strong teams as well.
The Los Angeles Rams could be the most improved team, which is scary to think about. They already have a great defense led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. With the addition of Mathew Stafford at quarterback, the Rams are going all-in at a Super Bowl run.
If Stafford can limit the turnovers and throw the ball accurately for the team, I would not be shocked if they do indeed win the division.
The Arizona Cardinals are a scary team as well, with the emergence of star quarterback Kyler Murray. Entering his third season with All-Pro Wideout Deandre Hopkins by his side, the offense for sure is nothing to take lightly. With the addition of JJ Watt on the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals could make a run sooner rather than later.
Lastly, let us not forget superstar Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. They always pose a threat, especially with star wide receiver DK Metcalf, who proved why he is one of the best pass-catchers in the league last season in just his second year. The only thing holding them back could be their defense. Do not sleep on the Seahawks.
All in all, though, I still like the Niners to come out on top in the division due to their dominant defense led by Fred Warner and Nick Bosa to go along with their efficient run game.