The odds for the NFC West have changed drastically since what they were at last season. The reasoning behind that is San Francisco losing about half of their team. After being at +155 last year, San Francisco is at +2000 to win the division, which in turn has pushed the Seahawks all the way to -300. Can any of these teams stop Seattle’s reign in the West?
Odds to win NFC West
Seattle Seahawks -300
Arizona Cardinals +440
St. Louis Rams +950
San Francisco 49ers +2000
There isn’t much of a surprise in the division odds as the Seattle Seahawks have been one of the best teams in the entire league the last few seasons. And while they lost some players, still have the bulk of their Super Bowl rosters intact, so not much of a drop-off is expected after a 12-4 campaign. Russell Wilson signed a new contract and he’ll have Jimmy Graham to throw to now in addition to Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse still there. Marshawn LyNCh is getting older, but continues to beast through defensive lines, although a weaker offensive line might be troublesome. The issue for the Seahawks these days is depth on the defensive side. Not to mention Earl Thomas still isn’t healthy, and he may not even be ready for Week 1. Studs like Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett still lead the group, but if injuries come about, there could be some issues.
Maybe the biggest news for the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason was the loss of defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to the Jets. Bowles was a huge part of this defense’s success so it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out this year with mostly the same roster minus Darnell Dockett. They’ll need to find ways to get to opposing QBs other than Calais Campbell and the secondary has to play better than in 2014, which means Patrick Peterson needs to get back to his former self. Most of the offense relies on the health of Carson Palmer because they didn’t sign anyone else worthwhile at quarterback. Other than that, the Cards boosted their offensive line and they’ll try and be a better team running the ball with the help of rookie David Johnson and veteran Chris Johnson. The Cardinals can compete with the Seahawks, but the defense can’t take a step back and Palmer has to stay healthy. Neither of those things are givens.
The St. Louis Rams could be a sneaky option this year, but that could’ve been said the past few years as well. While their front Four is probably the best in the league, they didn’t do anything to help a struggling secondary. But as long as the secondary is competent, the line will impose fear into offenses on every down. The Rams are still a mediocre to bad team on offense and Nick Foles isn’t expected to change that. If Todd Gurley can get back to full health, that may change this team’s outlook, but the passing Game will still be a problem. They didn’t add any new receivers and unless Foles can stay healthy and is suddenly a top-15 quarterback, not much should change with this offense besides a slightly better running Game with Gurley. Their odds are actually worse than they were a year ago when they were +850.
The San Francisco 49ers had the most turnover in the league and their odds to win the AFC West are an incredible +2000. The defense will still be solid, but in no way a dominant group as in year’s past. If Navorro Bowman can come in and be healthy, it would be a huge boost for this team to be somewhat competitive in the division. Of course, there’s also the possibility that Colin Kaepernick improves and this offense becomes elite, but that’s a long shot. Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush step into bigger roles at running back, while Torrey Smith is there instead of Michael Crabtree. After Kaepernick went for only 20 total TDs and 10 interceptions last season, he has a big task on his hands. With a weaker defense, the success of the 49ers is on his shoulders.
It’s hard to see the Seahawks giving up this division, as it seems like every team took a hit in the offseason. The Seahawks may have depth issues, but they still have the best overall team and top players. Sure, the Cardinals, Rams and 49ers are all solid teams, but will it be enough to overtake the Seahawks? That looks unlikely at this point, which is why Seattle is a cool -300.