The NFC West might be the most dreadful division in football, but has Vegas undervalued them this year?
The theme in this batch
of teams is “new”. New coaches and
quarterbacks dominate the day and no one is quite sure how it will turn
out. The biggest question we have is
will a team win the division with a .500 record this year?
NFC West Overiew
Seattle Seahawks (2010 ATS 7-9)
Ok, put up your hand if you thought the Seattle Seahawks was going to win the division last
year. If you did, you're either lying or a fan of the team. They
had the most roster turnover of any team and brought in a new head coach from
the college ranks. A win over the Saints in the playoffs was impressive,
but overall the franchise had a garbage season like the rest of this sadsack
The only thing this club could hang their hat on was their home field advantage
and their special teams play. They sucked in every other meaningful
statistical category. They were dreadful running the ball, scoring
in the red zone, ball control, turnover differential and almost everything on
defense. The fact that Matt Hasselbeck is a talked about commodity this
offseason just proves how desperate teams are at the QB position.
Bringing in T Jackson isn’t exactly an inspiring move. Drafting a guard at the
top of the draft was worthwhile, but it's nothing to get excited about
either. Carpenter and Okung are good building blocks, but it could get
worse before it gets better in the Pacific Northwest.
To-do list: better play from RB/WR, keep Brock/Mebane, compliment
Thomas/Trufant with more help, and fill holes on the D-line, G, LB, WR depth.
Biggest post-lockout question: Hello Whitehurst/Jackson, goodbye
St Louis Rams (2010 ATS 10-6)
Like most people, I fully expected St. Louis to win this division after SF crashed
and burned, but they laid a serious egg on the road in Seattle in week 17. A
good learning experience after what was a positive turnaround season for this
Bradford showed that he's studly in the kind of
profit-winning way we like, coach Spags is proving that the Reid coaching tree
is the real deal, and it all paid off for us with a 10-6 against the spread
record in 2010. At the same time, they
had the easiest record in the NFL and still couldn’t win the worst division in
They are pretty good on both the offensive/defensive lines, know how to get off
the field, maintain good ball control, and were solid in the turnover
category. Things they need to address in 2011 is their record on the
road, a more consistent running game, scoring in the red zone, and reducing the
number of 3 and outs.
Quinn and Kendricks were solid pickups in the
draft and they are bound to get one of the higher profile WR free agents in the
coming weeks. Long, Laurinitis, and Bartell are nice pieces on defense
and bringing in Mikell at safety doesn’t hurt either.
To-do list:get a WR and once they do that, go out and get another
one. Fill needs at DT, LB.
Biggest post-lockout question: How will Bradford and company respond now
that they are expected to produce?
San Francisco 49ers (2010 ATS 7-9)
Can someone please explain to me what happened to the San Francisco 49'ers last
year? This was one of the more baffling cases in the league in
2010. Yes there were legitimate questions at QB and coaching, but this
was a defensive unit that was together for a full 4 seasons and performed well
below expectations in the first half of the season. The defense
eventually rebounded later in the year, but it came against sub-par opponents
and at a time when the division was already out of reach.
Problems on the O-line, 3rd down offense, points from long drives, ball
control, and penalties sank the ship before it ever left the port. It
didn't matter which Smith was at QB, this parade wasn't going to work from the
get-go. Singletary found out the hard way that his rah-rah antics from
1853 don't work as well with the modern day millionaires and he never
Whether he was stubborn, stupid, or both we'll never know, but
now the reigns go to Jim Harbaugh. Despite his college background at Stanford,
he was a QB coach for OAK before that and played in the league for 15
years. There is an obvious red flag attached to him because of the NFL lockout effect, but out of all the new coaches in 2011 I like what he brings to
To-do list: Fill needs at NT, LB, WR, OT, DE. Keep Gore
healthy and hope he doesn’t hold out.
Biggest post-lockout question: Kaepernick, good luck kid.
Cardinals (2010 ATS 7-9)
Speaking of luck, ARI is going to need every ounce it can get in 2011. This place has been a total mess since Warner sailed off into the sunset and
there isn't really a lot of positive to point to. Sure they were
surprisingly good in red zone defense, but given their schedule it's hard to
take any positive statistical category seriously.
Things were over before they started when they went into the season with a QB
battle that consisted of Anderson vs Leinart. Once Max Hall came in it
was like watching the lame ass ending to a bad movie you couldn't turn
off. I'm not going to run down all their weakness because much like DEN,
it would take up too much space.
They targeted two skill positions in the
draft by taking CB Peterson and RB Williams, and by all accounts are a shoe-in
to get Kevin Kolb from the Philadelphia Eagles. There's nothing else to do but wipe the slate clean
and hope for the best in the desert.
To-do list: revamp the O-line for whoever comes in at QB. Fill
needs at QB, LB, CB, WR, DE, and P. Find someone in the league who can
stop the run.
Biggest post-lockout question: Kolb for what exactly?
your thoughts? Check out the SBR Forum and share your opinions and keep a close eye on the opening
NFL odds for the 2011 season.