San Francisco 49ers A Clear Favorite To Win NFC West in 2010

August 3, 2010 – Written By Alex

It can be argued that the NFC West is the weakest division in all of football entering the 2010 NFL Season. The San Francisco 49ers are the favorites to win the whole division, mostly by default.

The Arizona Cardinals are in a massive decline following the loss of a number of key players. The Seattle Seahawks are wild cards that seem to succumb to injuries every year.

And finally, the St. Louis Rams are at the forefront of a rebuilding project and aren’t particular threats to anyone. There are no true Super Bowl contenders in the NFC West, and unless the Seahawks or Niners get on a particular lucky streak, it’s unlikely that any of these teams will advance past one round in the playoffs.

The expectations are high for the 2010 San Francisco 49ers, though it’s due in large part to how weak of a division the NFC West is. The team will look to quarterback, Alex Smith to prove himself as a worthy No. 1 pick a few years ago in what will likely be his final shot at redemption. Noting a weakness in their offensive line during the offseason, the Niners tried to fix said weakness by drafting two starters in the first round of this year’s draft. Defensively, the team was solid last year ranking fourth in the league at scoring with 17.6 points per game allowed, and will try to build off that in this coming season. The Niners are currently 25/1 to win the Super Bowl and are -215 to win the division.

This will be a much different season for the Arizona Cardinals. While this team has been extremely successful in the last two years with one Super Bowl run, and a trip to the divisional round of the playoffs, the Cardinals also lost a number of valuable pieces during the offseason. The team’s soon-to-be Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner opted to retire, and will be replaced by the unproven Matt Leinart. Further, Leinart will have one less weapon to throw to after the team shipped Anquan Boldin to the Baltimore Ravens. Defensively, the Cardinals are a question mark as well, with mediocre talent for their rushers and inconstant players on the secondary. The Cardinals are currently 50/1 to win the Super Bowl and are +250 to win the division.

The Seattle Seahawks are a team that you constantly have to watch out for. They seem to always have the talent to advance into the later rounds of the playoffs, but injuries tend to bring them down. This season, the team revamped itself starting from the top by bringing in former USC head coach, Pete Carroll to both coach, and be VP of football operations. Matt Hasselbeck will return from an injury-plagued ’09 campaign to reunite with star receivers, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch, who also returning from injuries. Defensively, the Seahawks made it a point to bring in players who could be quick, solid pass rushers off the edge, to compensate for their lack of pass-rushing playmakers. Overall, the team’s success in 2010 will largely depend on their ability to stay healthy and get in sync as a unit. According to the latest 2010 NFL Betting Odds, the Seahawks are currently 50/1 to win the Super Bowl and are +300 to win the division.

This is marked to be the year of redemption for the St. Louis Rams. Behind new leadership by way of general manager, Billy Devaney, and head coach, Steve Spagnuolo, the team that finished 1-15 last season will aim to slowly climb the hierarchy of the NFC West. This year, the offense will (eventually) be run through new quarterback, Sam Bradford, and elite running back, Steven Jackson. While the receivers remain a question mark for this unit, stability at the quarterback position is a good stepping stone to the team’s eventual success. On the other side of the ball, the likes of James Laurinatis will look to wreck havoc on opposing offenses. Causing turnovers will be key to the Rams’ success this year, as it is unlikely that their offense will immediately gel enough to generate a massive amount of points. The Rams are currently 100/1 to win Super Bowl XLV and are +2500 to win the division.

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