The current season has only been underway a short time but it’s already obvious that the NFC West is going to be one of the most watched divisions this season. Wins and losses aplenty and so much drama that if the division could be nominated for an Emmy, it would win hands down. As far as television goes, even the best HBO series of all-time have nothing on the NFC West.
Okay, so perhaps we’re overselling it a bit there, but there’s no denying that even non-football fans will be riveted by the goings on in the division.
To put it into perspective, a team from NFC West has made it to the Super Bowl in 5 of the last 10 finals. That’s an incredible stat and when you look at the wealth of talent these teams have at their disposal, it’s easy to see why.
The NFC West certainly is one of the most competitive this seasons and a look at the odds on who will top the division confirms this. So, the Cardinals are not going to top the division, but the Seahawks, Rams, and 49ers are as tight as you can get in terms of who is favorite. In fact, no one, not even the sports books, can decide who will make the playoffs.
Although the Seahawks look good, there are question marks over their ability to remain consistent over a longer period. Even the Cardinals, who are seemingly destined to finish bottom of the heap, will be no walk-in-the-park for the other three teams. They’ll undoubtedly have a big say in who makes the playoffs, even though they themselves won’t.
An incredible quarterback roster
Caption: Garoppolo has made a name for himself at the 49ers
Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, Kyler Murray, and even Jimmy Garoppolo have answered the critics and shown that they can play at the highest level in their respective team’s systems. It might not be the Brady-esque quarterback play we’ve come to love and expect, but there’s no doubt that these players have what it takes to get their teams over the line. But none of that matters if they don’t have the right coaching team behind them.
Coaches getting the most out of players
The very fact that we’re talking about Garoppolo speaks volumes about the coach behind the player. The quarterback spent too long in the shadow of Tom Brady in New England, but with the 49ers he has carved himself a successful career as a starting quarterback. Under coach Kyle Shanahan, Garoppolo has blossomed into a quality player. Shanahan himself is an early contender for coach of the year. Not bad for a 37-year-old.
Sean McVay is doing incredible work with his Rams, while it’s business as usual for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. Show us another division with such a wealth of coaching talent and we’ll buy you a ticket to the Super Bowl.
A division with a future
But it’s not just this season that will grab the headlines. The future for NFC West looks bright, with many of the teams’ most valuable players yet to reach their prime. The average age of each roster is around 25, with the Cardinals coming in at 26. That’s pretty impressive and suggests that there’s plenty more drama to come in the following seasons. That is assuming that the teams retain their best talent.
And their best talent is already gaining that all-important star status. The likes of Jared Goff, Arik Armstead, DeForst Buckner, Kyler Murray, and Bobby Wagner are fast gaining the recognition they deserve and should all stay fit and continue their upward trajectory, the division is in for some great games.
Of course, there will always be those who say NFC North Division is unbeatable and to a certain extent we agree. But in recent years, NFC West has proven time and time again that it’s virtually impossible to predict the outcomes of games or who will make the playoffs. Maybe you prefer a division where everything is set in stone with the top team always staying top and very little competition. We, on the other hand, much prefer a competitive division where anything can and probably will happen on the field of play.
So to all those fans who support teams in other divisions – you don’t know what you’re missing. The next time an NFC West game is on the TV, do yourself a favor. Sit down, grab a few sodas and enjoy the fun. It really is the best division in the NFL.