As we start to dwindle down the 2011 NFL preseason, many teams are ready to start making big decisions as to who will make their rosters. Here at TheFanHub, we continue our division-by-division preview with the NFC West.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams roll into 2011 with their leader, QB Sam Bradford, looking to build off his first season in which he won Offensive Rookie of the Year. There is always a chance of a sophomore slump that, but don't expect Bradford to pay much attention to it. He still lacks a great receiver in his arsenal, but a good running game and decent play at the receiver position should land them the NFC West divisional crown.
RB Steven Jackson and Cadillac Williams are a nice one-two punch behind Bradford. The addition of WR Mike Sims-Walker should also help out this offense, along with Donnie Avery and Danny Amendola.
The defense looks poised and raring to go as well, with James Lauranitas manning the middle. In a more competitive division, the Rams may fall short of the playoffs altogether, but since they are in the West, they should be able to win the crown in 2011.
The Cardinals have the most talent in the division, but a new face at QB scares me a bit. Yes, there is a love affair out there with QB Kevin Kolb, whom the Cardinals traded for this off-season. But the guy really hasn't done much in the NFL. Granted, he has never really had that opportunity yet, which is why the jury is still out on him and the Cardinals at this juncture.
WR Larry Fitzgerald is an absolute stud and just re-upped with the Cardinals on a lucrative contract extension. The addition of Kolb was just what the doctor ordered for Fitz, as he has been picketing for a QB since Kurt Warner retired.
RB Beanie Wells needs to stay healthy for this offense to really click in 2011. This is something he has yet to do since his arrival in the NFL. If he can stay healthy, and Kolb can live up to the hype, we will see the Cardinals challenging with the Rams for the top spot in the division.
The Seahawks spent a lot of money this off-season, landing big time WR Sidney Rice and TE Zach Miller. Add those weapons to a big time duo of RBs, Marshawn Lynch and Leon Washington, and you got the making of an above average offense. I know you are all wondering, um Terry, who no mention of the QB? I left the QB position for last because it is so difficult to determine how it's going to play out for the Seahawks. Matt Hasselbeck is now gone to Tennessee, and that leaves Charlie Whitehurst and new addition Tarvaris Jackson. The Seahawks gave up a third round pick to get Whitehurst from San Diego, but they are not convinced he is their guy, hence the signing of Jackson. This offense can be dangerous, but I am very concerned with their QB play.
The defense is nothing to get excited about, but isn't overly terrible. It's about time that former first round pick Aaron Curry finally makes a name for himself in this league.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers under new head coach Jim Harbaugh, are a wild card in this division. I just can't put my finger on this team or where they are headed. With the lockout this off-season, the 49ers never really had the opportunity to move on from QB Alex Smith.
RB Frank Gore is not happy and wants a new contract, but can you blame him? He is a stud and deserves an extension. The WR core was upgraded with the addition of Braylon Edwards to go alongside Michael Crabtree, and we can't forget about TE Vernon Davis. This could be a very dangerous offense, but yet again, the QB position is what scares me the most.
LB Patrick Willis is one the best linebackers in the game and should have no problem making yet another Pro Bowl. Problem is, he doesn't have much help on that side of the ball.
If Alex Smith can somehow find a groove in 2011 and make the 49er faithful believe in him, then the season could look bright in the Bay Area. Problem is, I can't see it happening. The 49ers will be bringing up the rear in the NFC West in Harbaugh's first season as head coach.
1. St. Louis: 9-7
2. Arizona: 8-8
3. Seattle: 5-11
4. San Francisco: 4-12
Fan Hub Action
Jeanne-Marie Jansen Lowell May 23rd
Greatest relief pitcher EVER! Someday we can all tell our grandchildren we got to see him pitch. A true legend!
Jim Lowell May 23rd
Great tribute to a great player, a great Yankee, and a great man.Thank you!
Frank Lowell May 23rd
Great job, Ryan! As a life-long Yankee hater since the 1950’s in the closing days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I can only sit back and…
Tiffany Riddle May 23rd
Love the article, and I completely agree!
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
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