NFC West: San Francisco 49ers will have breakout season

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For the second straight season in a row, the Arizona Cardinals won the NFC West title after yet another impressive season by future hall of fame quarterback Kurt Warner in what turned out to be his fair well season behind center.

Despite the Arizona Cardinals putting on one hell of show against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs, Warner decided to call it quits and hand the team over to backup quarterback Matt Leinart.

Along with Leinart finally getting his shot behind center as the starter in Arizona, the Cardinals also parted ways with one of their best receivers in Anquan Boldin by trading him to the Baltimore Ravens.

With the departure of Warner and Boldin, the Arizona Cardinals will look much different season, but they will still have the ability to light up the scoreboard on any given Sunday and could be a threat to win the NFC West for the third straight season in a row.

Arizona Cardinals (last season: 10-6, division title)
Even though the Cardinals will still have a legitimate shot at winning the NFC West title for the third straight season, the team could easily go through somewhat of a down season as they try to adjust to an offense without one of the best quarterbacks of the all-time.

Personally, I believe that Matt Leinart has the ability to pick up where Kurt Warner left off, but I think it might take the entire season to do so.

Seattle Seahawks (last season: 5-11)
The Seattle Seahawks have gone through some drastic changes over the past few years as they try and get back to dominant status in the NFC conference, but they may have taken a step in the right direction this offseason by hiring longtime USC head coach Pete Carroll to patrol the sidelines.

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The one thing that the Seahawks need to do in my opinion, in order to compete in the NFC West once again, is to find a new starting quarterback of Pro Bowl caliber. Matt Hasselback is a great quarterback and leader behind center, but his time as a top QB in this league are over and the injuries are starting to mount up.

This will be another tough season for the Seahawks, but they will continue to improve with every passing season.

St. Louis Rams (last season: 1-15)
Ever since Kurt Warner left St. Louis a few years back, the Rams have become arguably the worst team in the NFL. It is not that the Rams don’t have talent as running back Steven Jackson is amongst the best at his position in the league today, but the team can’t compete with a running game alone and I believe St. Louis is heading to another last place finish in the NFC West.

San Francisco 49ers (last season: 8-8)
Last season the San Francisco 49ers went from one of the worst teams in the league to a potential playoff team in the NFC Conference. Mike Singletary’s squad may have just missed out on the playoffs last season, but they made huge strides for the future as they gave former number one overall pick Alex Smith another chance behind center.

Even though the young quarterback still struggled at times throughout last season, he struck up some much needed chemistry with his tight end Vernon Davis and gave 49ers fans hope for the future.

Along with a potent passing game, San Francisco also has one of the better running games in the league with Frank Gore coming out of the backfield.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the 49ers can keep this momentum going, but I believe they will do just that and come away with the division title next season.

Our NFC West title prediction: The San Francisco 49ers

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