With Kyle Shanahan, and the San Francisco 49ers losing this past Sunday in the Super Bowl, Sean McVay reamains the only active head coach in the NFC West to have led his team to hoisting the Lombardi. It is McVay’s squad who stays the most recent team in the NFC to win the Super Bowl as well. The 49ers had a chance to change that narrative, and be the most relevant team in the NFC West. Instead they lost and people can question the size of their Super Bowl window. Are the 49ers best chances at winning the big game behind them?
Of course the NFC West isn’t only made up of the Rams and 49ers. The Seattle Seahawks have more recently hoisted the Lombardi Trophy than the 49ers or Arizona Cardinals, but they made a head coaching change during the offseason. Pete Carroll, who led the Seabirds to a championship around 10 years ago, is no longer the head coach as Mike Macdonald comes into Seattle to take over.
The Cardinals, who also represent the NFC West, have never won a Super Bowl. Head coach, Jonathan Gannon, will be going into his second season as the man in charge in Arizona. I thought he led that team well last year. Arizona’s siganture win was probably their early season victory over the Dallas Cowboys (the Cowboys absolutely crushed the Rams in their matchup) and overall the Cardinals beat expecations. They appeared competetive in what I thought was going to be a lost season.
Each team in the NFC West has positives, but Shanahan, Macdonald, and Gannon have never led their team to winning the biggest game of the year. McVay has. Before anyone annoints the Rams as the best team in the division we should see how the offseason goes. Each organization will have a chance to improve. The 49ers may have the most talented roster to build on, but the Seahawks and Cardinals both have pieces and an indentity to build around too.
There’s no guarentee that LA will improve upon this year in a signifcant way, but we know McVay and Les Snead are going to try. The 49ers have to deal with concerns that Shanahan has taken them as far as they can go. The Seahawks and Cardinals still need to make sure they have found their longterm leader. The Rams can sit back knowing they have their man for the time being. That could be a huge advantage for this season and potentially seasons to come.
Whether McVay gets to another Lombardi or not is not as important as getting one in the first place. Mcvay has been there done that. With the 49ers latest loss observors can boast that McVay may be the most successful active coach in the NFC West, and perhaps the NFC. That’s not a terrible spot for McVay and the Rams to be in.