The dog days of summer can’t last forever and thank goodness for that because football is around the corner, and we are gearing up for the 2023 NFL season with our divisional previews. We will be going division by division, breaking down the biggest headlines, the new additions, and our predictions. Here’s our 2023 NFC West Preview.
It was certainly a weird year in the NFC West in 2022 with the defending champion Los Angeles Rams finishing the year without Matt Stafford and with just five wins which put them in third place. The only team worse than them in the west were the Arizona Cardinals who finished with three wins and set themselves up for a top spot in the draft and a vacancy for a new head coach. The Seattle Seahawks stunned the league by finishing with nine wins, enough to earn them a wild card spot despite trading away Russell Wilson and handing over the keys to Geno Smith. At the top were the San Francisco 49ers who dominated even though they played with multiple quarterbacks throughout the year and were led to the NFC Championship game with Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, taking over more than halfway through the regular season.
Favorite to win in 2023
The Niners are the no doubt favorites to not only win the division but are likely to be favorites to make it back to the NFC Championship game where they lost last year after Purdy injured his arm early in the game and they were never able to fully bounce back. The Seahawks are on par to have a similar year this time around with more offensive weapons and a playbook that will likely be tailored more towards Smith as he now has the full confidence of the team and a check in his pocket that proves just that. While the Rams might be more competitive than they were last year, this team doesn’t have the depth or the youth that they did two years ago when they pulled off a win over the Bengals in the Super Bowl. As for the Cards, this could very well be a team that is ready to tank for Caleb Williams and begin a new era after this season.
Offensive Player to Watch: Brock Purdy
The rookie sensation is still hurt after his UCL injury, but the word is that he will be back and ready for Week 1. Everyone wants to know if it was all just a fluke or if Purdy really does have what it takes to be a legit starter in the league.
Defensive Player to Watch: Aaron Donald
This could very likely be the final season for Donald who was supposedly going to retire but is coming back for more. I think if the Rams aren’t contenders halfway through the year, there is even a chance that the Rams could look to send his contract elsewhere and grab some picks in the process.
The Niners should not have much of an issue winning another division title and going deep into this postseason with this roster. Prediction: Niners (11-6)