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NFL Pro Football 2015 NFC West Preview

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Fearless Rick's NFL Preview - NFC West

Rick Gagliano | July 29, 2015

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

2014 Record: 11-5

2015 Expected Finish: 11-5

The Good: The Cardinals made the playoffs out of one of the toughest divisions in football. Carson Palmer was a solid leader when healthy and should return fully healed. Drew Stanton proved a capable backup. The defense was surprisingly good, finishing fifth in points allowed (18.7 per game).

The Bad: A running game is sorely needed by the Cardinals. They gained only 81.8 yards per game last year, better than only one team, the Oakland Raiders.

Outlook: Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd may be the best bookend receiver duo in the league right now, and if Palmer stays healthy, they will lead the Cardinals to many wins and possibly the league title. The defense might even be better than last yearÕs squad, which is a scary thought. Look out, Seattle! YouÕve got company.

Seattle Seahawks

2014 Record: 12-4

2015 Expected Finish: 10-6

The Good: The Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl and almost won it. Their playoff journey was fascinating and fun to watch.

The Bad: Every team will be gunning for the Seahawks and reminding them that they lost the Super Bowl because of their coach and his poor play selection.

Outlook: Pete Carroll will be second-guessed for the rest of his life just for the one bone-headed call he made which lost the Seahawks the Super Bowl. ItÕs unfortunate, because he is a very high-quality coach.

Seattle wonÕt have as easy a time of it this year because the Cardinals are going to be a major threat, plus the 49ers - despite the departure of coach Harbaugh - still have plenty of weapons and may find new uses for them. The Rams are also going to be better this season than last. SeattleÕs defense was the best in the league in 2014, allowing a league-low 15.9 points per game, and thatÕs going to be tough to repeat. Look for Russell Wilson to continue his growth. ItÕs apparent the league has not seen the best of him yet.

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St. Louis Rams

2014 Record: 6-10

2015 Expected Finish: 8-8

The Good: The Rams played some pretty good games, despite a rash of injuries, especially to QB Sam Bradford, who went to Philadelphia. Nick Foles or Case Keenum could be the starter this season and either of them is likely more durable (and maybe better) than the oft-injured Bradford.

The Bad: They are in a very tough division, and, while their defensive unit is solid, the onus is really on the offense.

Outlook: With top draft pick Todd Gurley (Georgia) in the backfield, the Rams might make considerable noise in this division. They should be better than the 49ers, but Seattle and Arizona seem a step above them.

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San Francisco 49ers

2014 Record: 8-8

2015 Expected Finish: 6-10

The Good: Not much good happened in SF last season, as they didnÕt make the playoffs and fired head coach Jim Harbaugh

The Bad: The defense was found to be lacking at times and Colin Kaepernick didnÕt have a very good season at QB. The 49ers appeared to be playing scared much of the time, and got blown out on occasion. Harbaugh was forced out, and his replacement, Jim Tomsula, has much to prove.

Outlook: San Francisco has to be more efficient on offense. Last season they slumped to #25 in scoring, putting up 19.1 points per game. By late in the season, it appeared as though the defenders on other teams had been reading their playbook, especially Seattle, who beat them twice in less than a three week span beginning on Thanksgiving. The 49ers appear to be going in no particular direction, which usually results in frustration and failure.

Copyright 2015, 2016, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.



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