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Previewing the 2019 NFC West

The Professor looks across the division and feels pretty good about the Rams’ fortunes in 2019.

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson runs against the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC Wild Card playoff game, Jan. 5, 2019.
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson runs against the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC Wild Card playoff game, Jan. 5, 2019.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As the Los Angeles Rams approach the 2019 regular season, they embark on this journey having won back-to-back NFC West titles under Head Coach Sean McVay’s leadership.

Here, I preview this upcoming season to see who among the losers left in the NFC West has a chance to dethrone the Rams.

Simply put—NONE.

Seattle Seahawks

I will say that the Seachickens surprised me last year making the playoffs. Even though they lost a lot of defensive players and arguably were no longer the “Legion of Boom”, they weren’t the “Legion of Doom” I had projected. Instead, Head Coach Pete Carroll was able to rally his team behind the best running game in the NFL last year to make the playoffs at 9-7.

I don’t think it’s gonna happen again.

I see them having the biggest fall from grace in 2019. Teams are going to stack the box and stuff the run forcing QB Russell Wilson to make plays with an entirely revamped wide-receiving core.

Former Rams and current Seahawks Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is not known for being aggressive like McVay. Sure he’ll put it up now and again, but this is entirely dependent on the Seahawks’ running game being at least as good as it was last year relying on playaction. The problem then for them is if you stuff the run, playaction is not a viable option.

Even though any defense with Carroll at the helm is going play hard, as a unit the Seachickens are in transition. As a result, this could be Carroll’s swan song season if the Rams, likely the projected winner, win their third Western Division title in a row.

I know playing the Seachickens is always a tough game, but the Rams simply have too much talent on both sides of the ball to let these jokers overtake them.

San Francisco 49ers

Any team run by Jed York is a good bet to fall flat on its face.

It’s not that as a Rams fan I can’t stand the Niners. That’s a given. But even being objective for the Whiners to overtake the Rams, a lot things have to fall into place.

Questions still surround the health of QB Jim Gar as he has yet to play a full season. If the Whiners’ offensive line can keep Gar clean in the pocket, the Whiners are posed to finish second and overtake the Seattle.

On the other hand, if the Whiners’ offensive line is inconsistent and unable to protect Gar while lacking a game-changing running back, they’ll be right back where they were last year fighting for the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

There are only two players I can even remotely say are any good, “Good” being loosely defined as a Whiner player who has a modicum of skill, can count to ten without screwing it up and knows what channel to watch sitting on the couch when the playoffs start: They’re TE George Kittle and WR/PR Dante Pettis.

Even if the Whiners’ offense under Head Coach Kyle Shanahan finds a way to put up points, the defensive will surely give up just as many. It remains the team’s biggest weakness even with the addition of first-round pick DE Nick Bosa.

A lot of pundits like the Whiners this year. If you want to waste your money betting on them, go ahead. But if you’re into throwing away your hard-earned money, consider sending it to me instead.

I am projecting that the Whiners will finish second, but they’ll still be trash. As a Rams fan, they were and always will be trash even when they won Super Bowls.

Long live Jed York!

Arizona Cardinals

By far the most interesting team to watch within the division is the Cardinals.

New Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury is the next Sean McVay. That’s right! As this is what I keep hearing and with first pick in the draft, QB Kyler Murray, they’re destined to take over first place in the division.

If you believe any of this, you should seriously consider logging off.

The Cards are going to be better next year then were last year, but that’s solely due to Murray’s legs and he’s gonna have to use them wisely having to scramble around with that putrid offensive line. Murray might even be able to complete a pass to aging, future HOF WR Larry Fitzgerald now and again.

Given that the Cards’ best defensive player, CB Patrick Peterson, will be suspended at the start of year, this unit is a shambles.

The Cards are gonna be fun to watch. Especially for those who love comedy.

It’s the Rams division to lose, There is simply no coherent reason why the Rams fans can’t win back-to-back-to-back division titles.

If they don’t, you’ll have a hard time finding me.