The NFC West was one of the tougher divisions in the NFL this past season as they had three teams make the playoffs. The Los Angeles Rams (12-5) won the division and the Super Bowl over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Arizona Cardinals (11-6) got bounced in the Wild Card round by the Rams, while the Niners (10-7) advanced to the NFC Championship Game as a sixth seed but eventually lost to the Rams. Finally, the Seahawks (7-10) finished in last place for the first time since 1996.
Free agency will produce considerably player movement as always, some teams will look largely the same. The published divisional odds from DraftKings Sportsbook provide a deeper look into the perceived hierarchy of each division and how much upside certain teams have within them.
To no one’s surprise, the reigning Super Bowl champs are the odds-on favorite to win the division. The Rams will most likely be bringing everybody back, except for maybe Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr., who are both unrestricted free agents.
Head coach Sean McVay has everything he needs on offense with Matthew Stafford leading the way under center. Then when you look at the defense, they are set at all three levels and if they bring back Miller, watch out.
The 49ers finished in third place in the NFC West, but could’ve easily finished in second, if a few games swung in their direction. It’s kind of surprising to see the Niners with the second-best odds as there’s uncertainty around the quarterback position. All signs point to veteran QB Jimmy Garoppolo being traded to another team this offseason, opening up the door for rookie Trey Lance.
Can Lance lead this offense, which already has the weapons in place to be a successful QB next season? On the other side of the ball, the Niners are still solid at all three levels. We saw that the Niners are not afraid of the Rams and will certainly give them a run for their money in 2022.
For the second-straight season, the Cardinals started out well, but then ended up fading down the stretch and getting demolished in the playoffs. QB Kyler Murray dealt with some injuries, along with DeAndre Hopkins, who missed the rest of the season and playoffs.
The Cardinals have several key free agents on both sides of the ball that they need to make tough decisions on. Will they bring back Chandler Jones, who has been wreaking havoc off the edge? And what will Arizona do at running back with both James Conner and Chase Edmonds as UFAs? The Cardinals’ front office brass will need to answers those questions and more.
Lastly, the Seahawks have long shot odds at 5-1 to win the NFC West and its because of the rumors surrounding Russell Wilson. It appears that the veteran quarterback will be with the Seahawks in 2022.
However, with teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos potentially in the QB market, it leaves the door open for Wilson to potentially go elsewhere. If the veteran does stay in Seattle, then they must upgrade that offensive line and add more pieces to that defense if they want to compete in the NFC West.
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