Los Angeles Rams: NFC West predictions for 2018 season

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay greets Jared Goff
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay greets Jared Goff /

The Seattle Seahawks reign over the NFC West has seemingly closed and the division now belongs to the Los Angeles Rams for the near future.

Prior to last season before the Los Angeles Rams emerged as the top team, the Seattle Seahawks had dominated the NFC West by winning the division three out of the previous four seasons.

Not only were the Seahawks one of the top teams to beat in the NFC West, but they also had two Super Bowl appearances, one of which they happened to win.

One can only imagine what could have been if Seattle handed the football off to Marshawn Lynch three years ago, but all the team can do moving forward is focus on taking down the Rams.

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Now, that the dynamic of things are shifting in the NFC West with the Rams being ready to take the throne of being the supreme team in the division, here are some predictions for the 2018 season in the division.

Los Angeles Rams

2017 Record: 11-5

2018 Predicted Record: 12-4

Key Additions: Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh, Sam Shields.

Key Losses: Alec Ogletree, Robert Quinn, Sammy Watkins, Trumaine Johnson

The Rams surprised a ton of people last year when they went 11-5 in the first year under Sean McVay. The biggest improvement came from the Rams ability to put points up on the board by making history as the first team to go from worst to first in scoring.

This upcoming season, Los Angeles wants to make a statement by showing that 2017 wasn’t a fluke and that they’re here to stay for the long run. With the additions of Peters, Talib, Shields and Suh on the defense, the Rams definitely improved what was already a dominant defense to begin with.

Also, they added Cooks to bring a deep-threat ability to the offense, which will help guys like Jared Goff and Todd Gurley. The Rams finally look to have built a roster that has a winning mentality and is ready to take that next step to fighting for the NFC’s spot in the Super Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers

2017 Record: 6-10

2018 Predicted Record: 8-8 

Key Additions: Richard Sherman, Weston Richburg, Jerick McKinnon

Key Losses: Carlos Hyde, Zane Beadles, Daniel Kilgore

The San Francisco 49ers have seemingly found their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo and head coach in Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers looked awful for the majority of the season starting 1-10.

San Francisco then decided to finally start Garoppolo under center after acquiring him in a trade from the New England Patriots. The 49ers ended the season strong, going 5-0 with Garoppolo under center.

Garoppolo has become arguably the most hyped quarterback in the NFL this offseason and the 49ers didn’t hesitate to pay him. They also signed Sherman to strengthen their secondary. San Francisco seems to be heading in the right direction, but still have question marks on both sides of the ball.

Seattle Seahawks

2017 Record: 9-7

2018 Predicted Record: 7-9

Key Additions: Ed Dickson, Jaron Brown, Barkevious Mingo

Key Losses: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Jimmy Graham

Seattle’s run of being the dominant team in the NFC West has likely come to an end. The Seahawks have lost a ton of key contributors to their lengthy run of dominance and are in more of a rebuilding stage.

You still have Russell Wilson at quarterback and Doug Baldwin at wide receiver, but there are question marks just about everywhere else on the offense. The defense has been completely ripped apart by guys like Avril and Chancellor retiring.

Plus, you add the reality that Sherman and Bennett left in free agency. There are big shoes to fill on this defense that was once feared by just about everyone. One thing is for certain, the Legion of Boom had a nice run, but it’s coming to an abrupt end.

Arizona Cardinals

2017 Record: 8-8

2018 Predicted Record: 6-10

Key Additions: Josh Rosen, Sam Bradford, Brice Butler, Derrick Coleman

Key Losses: Carson Palmer, Tyrann Mathieu, John Brown, Jaron Brown

It’s amazing the Arizona Cardinals were able to muster up a 8-8 record last year with all the injuries that  occurred for them. First, David Johnson goes down for the season before Palmer was eventually lost for the year as well.

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When you have your starting running back and quarterback go down with injuries, that’s a recipe for disaster. This year, Johnson is back, but there will be a new quarterback under center in Rosen or Bradford. Bruce Arians walked away as head coach ,but Cardinals hired former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks to replace him. Arizona has good building blocks in Johnson and hopefully Rosen, but the future for the Cardinals is still murky at best.