NFC West: Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl

Before the season starts, this story is here to serve as your wake up call. So know this, if your team is in the NFC West, it is not going to win the Super Bowl in 2019.

Fans are constantly told to be positive. We are told it’s healthy, but sometimes— it’s fun to be just a little negative. One of the best parts of sports, especially the NFL, is complaining about how bad your team is or could be. Therefore, if you are a fan of a team in the NFC West, let the teeth-gnashing begin.

The offseason can bring hope to a lot of fanbases. New signings, new coaches, and new draft picks. If you’re one of those fans who have that bright sense of hope for your team in 2019— yikes. If you’re thinking about going into the start of training camp with a glass half full approach, pour the water out and let’s get real.

Before the season starts and a wave of reality hits you that your team may not be what you think it is, then this story is your wake up call. Read the next sentence, and read it closely— your team is not going to win the Super Bowl in 2019.

Again for those of you who skipped over the last paragraph— you’re team is not going to win the Super Bowl in 2019.

If you have lofty championship aspirations for your team, it is my job to talk you down. Now, if your team does do well, then it will be a surprise, and if they fail, you’ll be prepared.

Next up in Pro Football Network’s series about why your team won’t win the Super Bowl— The NFC West.

Los Angeles Rams

Do you realize how hard it is to make back-to-back Super Bowls? Before we look to future Super Sunday’s for the Rams, we need to look back at their 13-3 loss in Super Bowl LII. 13 points? Seriously Sean McVay? Where did the innovative offensive savant go? Yikes.

In all seriousness, it felt like Patriots assistant Brian Flores figured out McVay, Jared Goff and the Rams offense in one game. He set the script on how to slow down the Rams offense and that is a serious problem. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the league starts to catch on with what the Patriot’s did and that’s a challenge McVay will have to face.

Over the offseason the Rams tried to bolster their defense with Clay Matthews, Taylor Rapp, and Eric Weddle, but will it be enough? The AFC West has to be one of the most improved divisions in football. First overall pick, Kyler Murray and a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo add to a group that already boasts Russell Wilson. The NFC West is no joke for opposing defenses and the Rams will have to face them twice.

All this and we didn’t even bring up the sudden decline of Toddy Gurley.

Seattle Seahawks

A team built by only the run game will never win a Super Bowl in the modern NFL. The days of three yards and a cloud of dust are over and the Seattle Seahawks still haven’t taken notice. Pete Carroll looks to be finally showing his age. It’s quite perplexing why the Seahawks choose to base their offense around the run game instead of a potential Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback in Russell Wilson. Until they fully unlock Wilson, they will never be considered Super Bowl contenders.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Seahawks have question marks in the trenches. Ziggy Ansah is not Frank Clark and there is now a lot of pressure on Poona Ford on the interior with Jarran Reed’s suspension.

Lastly, the Seahawks are tasked with replacing several key contributors to their team. Earl Thomas, Doug Baldwin, Mike Davis, and Justin Coleman all left Seattle this offseason. John Schneider and Carroll have always been solid at band-aiding things together in Seattle, but that’s a lot to replace when trying to win a Super Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers

Ah yes, 2019’s football’s sweetheart. The San Francisco 49ers might need the biggest wake-up call of any team. What’s the deal with the constant hype around the 49ers? Is it Kyle Shanahan? The coach who contributed to blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl? Is it Jimmy Garoppolo? The only thing Garoppolo has proven is that he’s injury-prone. Each year the team out of Santa Clara garners a ton of preseason attention and eventually disappoints. Will the same thing happen this year?

Take away Shanahan’s offensive mystique and you’re still stuck with the 49ers defense. The 49ers spent a lot of resources on reloading their underperforming defense and they still have holes. They added Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, and Kwon Alexander, but their secondary looks bleak. Richard Sherman has been great, but he isn’t getting any younger and beyond that it’s rough.

Injury-riddled Jason Verrett and Ahkello Witherspoon, who ranked last in Pro Football Focus’s cornerback rankings will compete for a job across from Sherman. The 49ers safety unit doesn’t provide much hope beyond praying for a breakout campaign from one of their young safeties. The ball is coming out quicker and quicker in the modern NFL and coverage is becoming more important. No matter how many picks and money the 49ers throw at their defensive line it won’t help if they can’t cover anyone.

Shanahan and Garoppolo need to put together an injury-free, winning season before we can start talking about Super Bowls.

Arizona Cardinals

If you’re an Arizona Cardinals fan reading this and you actually believe your team has the chance to win the Super Bowl, stop reading after this sentence and talk to someone because you might need help.

The thought of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray tearing up the league on a run to the Super Bowl in their rookie seasons is amazing. Words don’t do justice on how fun that would be to watch, but it takes a wild imagination to even think that up.

If you’ve read this far I’ll give you the real reason the Cardinals don’t have a shot at the Super Bowl, and that’s the offensive line. The Cardinals offensive line gave up 28 sacks last season, ouch. Beyond pass protection, the Cardinals offensive line couldn’t get anything going on the ground for David Johnson. With Murray’s freaky speed he might be able to escape some situations, but their offensive line is in competition for worst in the league.

The Cardinals could be a fun team to follow in 2019, but a Super Bowl? The young skill players they’ve put around Murray will be must-watch television, but again, a Super Bowl? Come on.

Tommy Call is a writer for PFN, covering the NFL. You can follow him @tommy_III
on twitter for more content.

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