Jan 6, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) carries the ball to score a touchdown as Washington Redskins inside linebacker Perry Riley (56) and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) chase in the fourth quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game at FedEx Field. The Seahawks win 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the NFC West for the 2013 NFL Season

 

In today’s latest installment of breaking down the NFL, I will be taking a look at the NFC West division.  I will analyze each teams’ offense, defense and predict their order of finish for the 2013 NFL season.

Arizona Cardinals:

Larry Fitzgerald: A Panthers Nightmare

  • Offense:  Carson Palmer were brought on to be the quarterback for this team.  He will be throwing to a receiving corp that includes, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts and tight end Rob Housler.  Rashard Mendenhall was brought in to power the running game.  Stepfan Taylor, Andre Ellington were drafted and returnee Ryan Williams will be battling for roster spots and carries to provide depth.
  • Defense:  The Cardinals will again run a 3-4 defense under the new regime.  They will probably looking of a front consisting of Dan Williams at nose, and Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett at the two end spots.  Karlos Dansby was recently signed as a free agent to take one of the inside linebacker spots.  Starter Darryl Washington is dealing with a 4 game suspension as well as a possible domestic abuse situation.  Jasper Brinkley is going to face competition for the other inside spot.  Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield will be on the outside.  Patrick Patterson is the headliner in the secondary.  He will be counted on to cover the opposing teams best receiver, return punts, as well as possibly mentor third round pick Tyrann Mathieu.

Seattle Seahawks:

  • Offense: Second year quarterback Russell Wilson is the main man here.  He looks to build on last years excellent rookie season after throwing for 3,118 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  He also added 489 yards rushing and 4 more scores.  Marshawn Lynch returns as possibly the divisions best running back.  He ran for 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns last year.  Backing him up will be Robert Torain and Christine Michael.  The Seahawks added Percy Harvin in the offseason from Minnesota to go with holdovers Sydney Rice and Golden Tate at wide receiver.
  • Defense:  Cliff Avril will bringing pressure off of one end while Red Bryant will be on the other side.  Brandon Mebane and Michael Bennett will be inside.  The linebackers are last years leading tackler Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, and possibly Malcolm Smith.  In the secondary, Richard Sherman returns with Brandon Browner on the other side.  Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are the safeties.

San Francisco 49ers:

Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) runs after a catch against Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Stephen Nicholas (54) during the third quarter of the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

  • Offense: Colin Kapernick will again be at quarterback, but will be dealing with the loss of his leading receiver.  Michael Crabtree went down during OTA’s with a torn Achilles and will miss the season.  Anquan Bolden will hold it down on one side.  The competition to be the 2nd receiver will be between AJ Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette, and Quinton Patton.  Kyle Wilson is coming off an acl injury but will be looked at in the slot.  Vernon Davis is at tight end and may see more passes his way since Crabtree went down.  At running back, Frank Gore returns and is backed up by LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter.  Marcus Lattimore was drafted in this years draft but will likely sit out the year recovering from a serious knee injury.
  • Defense: The 49ers will have Glenn Dorsey at Nose and Justin Smith and Ray Mcdonald at the ends.  The two inside linebackers are among the best in the NFL in Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman.   Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith will be bringing the heat from the outside.  At corner will be Carlos Rogers and Tarrell Brown.  The safeties will be rookie Eric Reid and Donte Whitner.

St. Louis Rams:

  • Offense: Sam Bradford was given some more weapons this year so it is expected that he will take the next step in his development in his 4th season.  The draft brought Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey at receiver after drafting Brian Quick and Chris Givens the prior year.  The Rams will be replacing Steven Jackson, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons in the off season.  Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead, and Zac Stacy will be competing for the right to be the primary ball carrier.
  • Defense:  Upfront will be Chris Long, Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford and Robert Quinn.  The linebackers will be James Laurinaitis at Middle linebackers, flanked by Alec Ogletree and Jo-Lon Dunbarr.  The safeties will be Darian Stewart and T.J. McDonald.  The corners are Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins.
The order of finish I am predicting for the NFC West is as follows:
1.  Seattle Seahawks
2.  San Francisco 49ers
3.  St. Louis Rams
4.  Arizona Cardinals
Again, we want to know what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know in the comments.

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