2016 NFL Preseason Outlook: NFC WEST
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – NFC WEST
(2015 record 5-11)
KEY ADDITIONS: HC Chip Kelly, OT Anthony Davis
KEY DEPARTURES: RB Reggie Bush, WR Anquan Boldin
A 5-11 season for the San Francisco 49ers in 2015 led to a change at Head Coach. Jim Tomsula is out after 1 season and in comes Chip Kelly, whose 3 years in Philadelphia were less than stellar. But back to rhe 2015 season for a second, QB Colin Kaepernick showed regression that is not often seen from QB that has once led his team to a near Super Bowl victory. Blaine Gabbert stepped in when Kaep struggled and revitalized his career.
The 2 Quarterbacks will battle for the starting spot in Chip Kelly’s fasy paced spread offense. Kaepernick is thought to be the prototypical QB for this offense but Gabbert has shown that he can lead this group of players. Speaking of leading, the loss of WR Anquan Boldin will hurt this team. His work ethic and leadership was a great example for the young players to follow.
If the 49ers expect to improve on the 5 wins they had last year, they will need newly extended LB NaVorro Bowman to lead that defense back to what it was a few years back and for coach Kelly’s scheme to be successful this time around.
KEY PLAYERS: LB NaVorro Bowman, QB Position, HC Chip Kelly
LOS ANGELES RAMS – NFC WEST
(2015 record 7-9)
KEY ADDITIONS: QB Jared Goff
KEY DEPARTURES: QB Nick Foles, TE Jared Cook
The Rams made the move from St. Louis back to Los Angeles after a 7-9 season in 2015. Yes, 7-9 waa their record but this team has shown that they have a few young studs to build around. On the offense they have RB Todd Gurley who exploded on the scene in his rookie season to be one of the most productive running backs of 2015. On the defensive side of the ball, DT Aaron Donald has quickly jumped into the conversation for best defensive player in the league with the likes of J.J. Watt, Luke Kuechly and Von Miller.
#1 overall pick QB Jared Goff is expected to be the future of this franchise and he will have to make a connection with the Rams playmakers (Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt) in order to secure the starting job and go forward from there. The Rams have been between 6 and 9 wins for the past few years and with the uncertainty of the QB position its hard to see much improvement in this up coming season.
KEY PLAYERS: RB Todd Gurley, WR Tavon Austin, DT Aaron Donald
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – NFC WEST
(2015 record 10-6)
KEY ADDITIONS: OG Jahri Evans, RB Alex Collins (rookie), OG Germain Ifedi (rookie)
KEY DEPARTURES: RB Marshawn Lynch, OT Russell Okung
The 2015 Seattle Seahawks were dethroned in the NFC West by the Arizona Cardinals and they come into the 2016 season with all intentions of reclaiming said throne. With the retirement of RB Marshawn Lynch, this team wi rely more on QB Russell Wilson as they look for one of their young and abke running backs to separate themselves from the pack and carry this once feared ground attack. Thomas Rawls will no doubt get first crack at it given his performance in relief for an injured Lynch.
The Seahawks will also come into 2016 at full strength on defense, which they did not do last year. SS Kam Chancellor holding out well into the season really hurt the chemistry and effectiveness of this defense early on. The team ultimately got it together and mustered 10 wins but if the wish to jump over the Cardinals, they will need to come out hitting on all cylinders from day 1.
KEY PLAYERS: QB Russell Wilson, RB Thomas Rawls, SS Kam Chancellor
ARIZONA CARDINALS – NFC WEST
(2015 record 13-3)
KEY ADDITIONS: OG Evan Mathis, DT Robert Ndemdiche (rookie)
KEY DEPARTURES: DE Dwight Freeney
In 2015 the Arizona Cardinals were on the door step of Super Bowl sunday, only to be turned away by Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers. The season ended sooner than the team hoped but they did uncover a budding star in RB David Johnson, the young running back filled in for an injured Chris Johnson and made the most of his opportunity. He exploded all over defenses, showing his running skills as well as his ability to be a huge threat in the passing attack.
CB Patrick Peterson and FS Tyrann Mathieu and two of the NFL elites when it comes to defense, so it is expected that the team will be around to top of most defensive categories like they were a year ago. The team will look for guys like WR John Brown and newly drafted DT Robert Ndemdiche to be those players needed to move this team from a NFC championship contender to a possible Super Bowl championship winner.
KEY PLAYERS: RB David Johnson, QB Carson Palmer, FS Tyrann Mathieu, CB Patrick Peterson
By our Prediction the lost of Marshawn Lynch won’t change the win total of the Seattle Seahawks but it will change the general philosophy of the team and that change will be the sole reason they are not able to catch and surpass the Arizona Cardinals atop this division. The Cardinals are your NFC West champs again.