Logical End result
The defending Tremendous Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams, will look to defend their NFC West title towards the crew that beat them twice within the common season final 12 months and nearly received within the NFC Championship Sport as nicely, the San Francisco 49ers. These two titans will doubtless duke it out for everything of the season as soon as once more, and can, in all probability, be Tremendous Bowl contenders as nicely.
Then, there’s the Arizona Cardinals. This crew took the world by storm firstly of the season, earlier than tailing off within the second half, and in the end falling within the Wild-Card Spherical with out placing up a lot of a battle. After a tumultuous offseason that noticed their high receiver (DeAndre Hopkins) get suspended six video games, their new vast receiver will get arrested for rushing, their quarterback squabble over a contract extension, and squabble once more over his coach’s lack of play-calling ingenuity, it’s solely logical to count on a gradual begin to the season. Then, after Name of Responsibility comes out in October, Murray will get consumed and it’ll all be downhill for Arizona. They’ll nonetheless be higher than Seattle although. That’s a given.
Shock Alternate End result
Very like the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021, the Cardinals rally round their adversity. They begin the season blazing sizzling as soon as once more, and keep away from any contact between Murray and ‘Trendy Warfare 2′ after the discharge date. Brown’s inefficiencies that plagued him in Baltimore disappear solely as he reaffirms himself as a bonafide star vast receiver within the NFL, completely negating the lack of Christian Kirk and filling Hopkins’ function till he returns. Zach Ertz had a quiet bounce-back efficiency after transferring to the desert. He stays probably the greatest pink zone targets within the league and James Conner is ready to deal with a feature-back workload with out Chase Edmonds within the image. So long as head coach Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t mess every little thing up, a division title may very well be a practical, if not unlikely, future for the Cardinals.
In the meantime, the Rams battle to adapt to Matt Stafford’s elbow damage. Seems that the “uncommon” drawback that he and McVay tried to downplay truly has severe implications on Stafford’s capacity to throw. In an effort to make sure his profession isn’t ruined, the Rams depart Stafford on the sideline for a lot of the season. Backup John Wolford does his finest to show he’s a succesful backup, however even with Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, Wolford can’t ship greater than a landing drive or two per sport. The Rams’ offense, now led by operating again Cam Akers, coming off an ACL tear in 2021, can’t get better even with McVay on the helm. They attempt to lean an increasing number of closely on Kupp, and even re-sign Odell Beckham Jr., hoping his return might spark one thing within the offense, however alas, with out Stafford, the crew is only a worse model of these disappointing 2019 and 2020 squads that failed to achieve expectations. They’ll nonetheless end with a stable report, however received’t win the division.
Trey Lance seems to not be the man in San Francisco. He persistently questions himself and that results in far more sacks than any cellular quarterback behind Trent Williams ought to feasibly take. Each time we predict head coach Kyle Shanahan will look over his shoulder and provides the nod to Jimmy Garoppolo, Lance fires a 75-yard missile to Brandon Aiyuk, re-igniting the flame that Shanahan has. Garoppolo is rarely in a position to take full management of the beginning job once more regardless of the crew performing higher when he’s on the sphere. George Kittle’s groin damage snowballs right into a collection of well being issues for the star tight finish, and Deebo Samuel refuses to line up within the backfield to assist a run sport that proves inefficient outdoors of Elijah Mitchell. The 49ers are a lot flashier in 2022, however lose extra usually than they did in 2021.
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No matter what happens with the Rams, Cardinals, and 49ers, the Seahawks are going to finish last in this division. They have the worst quarterback room, arguably the worst offensive line, and arguably the worst defense. I don’t care how great Drew Lock becomes in his first season in the Pacific Northwest, he still has to wrestle the starting job away from Geno Smith. That could take months. So, even if Lock somehow turns his career around Josh Allen-style, it could still be a long time before he earns the starting gig. The team could be 0-6 by then. They won’t be catching anyone in this division any time soon.
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