The NFC West is one of the most difficult divisions to predict. Last year, the fast rise of the 49ers took the league by storm, whereas in 2018 the Rams were able to maintain their dominant streak. Will there be another change at the top of the division? With the 2020 schedule set, there are some significant games each NFC West team will play. With that said, this is an eight-part series where our Scorecrow NFL analysts do an early prediction of the wins and losses of each team. We projected all 256 games and have the winners and losers of each division!
Make sure to check out the rest of our record projections here.
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers
Winner of the NFC West
Brady: Seattle Seahawks (10-6) | MVP Russell Wilson
The Seahawks win the tiebreaker with the Cardinals, due to divisional games. This is one of the most competitive divisions in the NFC, as all four teams have the talent to make the playoffs. While there is a significant lack of talent on parts of the Seahawks roster, stars such as Bobby Wagner and Wilson make up for it. While the over-reliance on both stars has its negatives, the Seahawks are always a team that can go far in the playoffs. This year is not an exception as they have finally given Wilson the weapons to make special plays. Overall, I think the Seahawks could make a run at the Super Bowl.
Chris: San Francisco 49ers (12-4) | Team MVP: Arik Armstead
The 49ers are one of the youngest and most promising teams in the NFL. The team will once again lean on their defense to win games in the upcoming season, featuring a defensive line that racked up 48 sacks last season led by Nick Bosa, Armstead, and Dee Ford. The key to the season for the 49ers will be the play of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who looks to build off a strong 2019 season that saw him lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance while throwing for 3,900 yards and 27 touchdowns. Garoppolo will lean on a strong running attack, led by Raheem Mostert to lead the 49ers to another NFC West title.
Mason: San Francisco 49ers (12-4) | Team MVP: Deebo Samuel
The 49ers didn’t have much draft capital but used their limited selections to their advantage. Kyle Shanahan knows how to scheme against teams and the defense is still great. Seattle is still close behind but the 49ers added talent during the offseason that pushes them towards another Super Bowl Appearance. The offense has playmakers at each position, while the defense is terrifying.
Loser of NFC West
Brady: Los Angeles Rams (8-8) | Team MVP: Aaron Donald
There is only so much an elite defense can do to win games. While the defense has few holes, it is ultimately the offense that struggles and loses the Rams games. Jared Goff must be productive for the Rams to have success, despite the poor offensive line. For 2020, I believe the offensive line will again derail their playoff hopes. The Rams need to find a way to address the offensive line and help out the offense.
Chris: Los Angeles Rams (8-8) | Team MVP: Jalen Ramsey
The Rams have a lot of questions heading into the 2020 NFL season. The most notable one is along the offensive line as the Rams are relying on young, unproven players along the interior of their offensive line. Another big question for this team is their linebacking core after the loss of Cory Littleton, the Rams ranked 26th against the run last year. The strength of this team will be their pass defense led by Ramsey. Overall, the Rams roster has too many significant holes along their offensive line and linebacking core to compete in the NFC West, regarded by many as the toughest division in the league. This will lead them to finish 8-8 and at the bottom of the division.
Mason: Arizona Cardinals (8-8) | Team MVP: DeAndre Hopkins
Yes, 8-8 is the worst record in this crowded division. The Cardinals added pieces but the NFC West is stacked with teams that have played in the Super Bowl recently. Kyler Murray should take another step forward and be a great piece for your fantasy teams, while Hopkins is a great addition to an already crowded receiving core. The defense is still not great even with the addition of Isaiah Simmons.
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