NFC West power rankings: Can the LA Rams retake the division in 2024?

Where do the Rams stand in the NFC West?
Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The NFC West could quickly turn into a top division in the league in 2024. Could there be three playoff teams from the division for this coming season? While the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers are currently the two best teams in the division, do not count out the Arizona Cardinals in 2024.

The second year with Monti Ossenfort as the GM could yield a breakout season from an up and coming roster. I also believe people are really forgetting just how good Kyler Murray is. The Rams are surely going to have their hands full in 2024.

Can they retake the division this coming season?

NFC West power rankings: Can the LA Rams retake the division in 2024?
4. Seattle Seahawks

Besides hiring Mike Macdonald, there isn't a ton of changes with the Seattle Seahawks, and I don't really believe that's a good thing for them. Geno Smith is the worst QB in the division by quite a margin, and Seattle won't put a consistent winning product on the field until they find a long-term replacement for him.

The Seahawks moved on from Pete Carroll earlier this offseason, so this might be more of an evaluation year for Macdonald and his new staff, but you have to wonder what the QB position will look like even a year from now. Smith isn't the answer, and their trade for Sam Howell probably won't turn into much.

The roster itself is fine, but they're a distant fourth in the NFC West.

3. Arizona Cardinals

A team that is going to surprise in 2024 is the Arizona Cardinals, who seem to have made a home-run GM hire with Monti Ossenfort, and seeing as how stingy and tough the Cardinals looked at times last year, Jonathan Gannon was clearly the right head coaching hire. The issue with Arizona is their roster, as Ossenfort inherited the worst one in the NFL.

Now with two draft classes on the roster, a huge jump from this team in 2024 is coming, and if they doubled their win total from 2023 and came out of the 2024 NFL Season an eight-win team, don't be surprised. Kyler Murray is also the most explosive quarterback in the NFC West, so he cannot be discounted either.

The Cardinals are clearly not in the tier with the Rams or 49ers, but they are slowly getting there.

2. Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams went 10-7 during the 2023 NFL Season, perhaps a surprise to some. They nearly took down the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card round as well, and with as young and inexperienced as some of their players were, the Rams making a huge leap in 2024 is expected.

To me, the biggest question mark with this team is how the DL looks without Aaron Donald and when Father Time catches up to Matthew Stafford, who is set to play in his age-36 season this year. Many QBs have played extremely well into their late-30s, but with Stafford seemingly always banged up, his body is going to catch up at some point.

The Rams may only have another year or two of what is left with Matthew Stafford, but the way that 2023 went, they might find themselves inside another Super Bowl window.

1. San Francisco 49ers

This is no surprise. The San Francisco 49ers are the elite of the elite in the NFC and don't appear to be going anywhere. This franchise has been so good that they shipped off three first-round picks to draft Trey Lance, found out he was a bust, traded him for change to the Dallas Cowboys, and are somehow still the best team in the conference.

Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy is simply excellent, and yes, while some cite the offensive system as being the bigger player here, it's also true that both Purdy and the system are excellent. This is a well-oiled machine that the LA Rams will have to go through in 2024 if they hope to make another Super Bowl run.

I cannot see the Rams winning the NFC West in 2024 at this point, but if you told me the Rams went 11-6 and the 49ers won 12 or 13 games, I'd probably view that as being realistic. Can the Los Angeles Rams conjure up one last magical run in 2024?