NFC West 2009 Preview
1. Arizona Cardinals 10-6 #2 seed
Key Additions:Â Bryan McFadden
Key Losses: Antonio Smith, Monty Beisel, Rod Hood, Edgerrin James
Key Draft Picks: Beanie Wells
Overview: The Cardinals and Kurt Warner had one of the more remarkable seasons in recent NFL history last season and a lot of the same should continue this season. The Cardinals drafted Beanie Wells to replace Edgerrin James and return what may be the best 1-2 WR duo in the NFL. The Cardinals return basically the same defense this season as they had last season, which isn’t a positive. Adrian Wilson is one of the best safety’s in the league and DRC is an emerging corner. Darnell Dockett and Karlos Dansby are the lone bright spots in the front 7. Fortunately for the Cardinals the division will be weak once again and they will emerge as division champs for the 2nd year in a row.
2. Seattle Seahawks 9-7
Key Additions: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Colin Cole
Key Losses: Julian Peterson, Bobby Engram, Maurice morris
Key Draft Picks: Aaron Curry, Max Unger
Overview: The Seahawks undoubtedly will have a better team than 2008 one in which their top 4 WR all went on IR. If Julius Jones can stay healthy and produce on offense the Seahawks could be prime for a big season. The addition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh will help the running game since he mostly catches short passes, but the lack of a real running back will plague the team on offense. The Seahawks will have one of the youngest and best linebacking cores with Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill and Aaron Curry, but the loss of Julian Peterson will kill them on the defensive line. Expect a big improvement over next season but they’ll just miss out on the playoffs.
3. St. Louis Rams 4-12
Key Additions: James Butler, Mike Karney
Key Losses: Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Trent Green, Corey Chavous
Key Draft Picks:Â Jason Smith, James Laurinaitis
Overview: Wow. Where to start with this franchise? They let their best WR go and now his replacement is injured. The drafted a cornerstone LT this year in the draft, but what good does that do without anyone else on offense? Marc Bulger will continue to be the starter but only by default. The defense should be improved from last season with the addition of Steve Spanuolo as Head Coach. If the defense can rank in the top 20 this season, look for the Rams to stay out of the cellar this season.
4. San Francisco 49ers 3-13
Key Additions: Brandon Jones, Dre Bly
Key Losses: Bryant Johnson, JT O’Sullivan
Key Draft Picks: Michael Crabtree
Overview: We want winners! Mike Singletary wants winners and unfortunately this season that isn’t going to happen. The QB situation is a complete train wreck and the WRs are in the same situation. Everyone thought the Raiders were crazing for drafting DHB ahead of Crabtree, but were they really? Singletary will do his best to make Crabtree a non distraction this year but with Vernon Davis on the team as well, he will have his hands full. Patrick Willis is the lone bright spot on defense. If everyone on D had his heart and talent the 49ers would have the best defense in history, unfortunately, that’s not the case. As surprising at it may seem, it looks like only 3 wins for the 49ers this season.