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NFC West Preview
By Bryan Nevin
Special to paydirtfootball.com

The biggest theme coming out of the NFC WEST is the rookie QB with 3 of the 4 teams coming into the season starting a rookie QB.
It's going to be a fun season, and expect a lot of running the ball with new QB's, weak WR corps, and some solid RB's including 2 of the top 7 in rushing last season.


49ers 1. 49ers-After winning the Super Bowl, the 49ers are the team to beat in the NFC West. The 49ers may take a step back this season with the loss of Sam Bradford and Marques Colston. They will go with rookie QB Homer Wells and speedsters Ginn and Hester at WR.
Although the loss of Bradford is huge, the 49ers upgraded in several areas including RB in Jones-Drew(in the trade of Gore). They also added Leon Hall and Zeke Sheth at CB which really helps to upgrade their secondary. When the 49ers saw Julian Peterson on the free agent market, they were quick to pick up the phone and offer him a contract solidying their already solid defense.
Biggest Strength-Their LB corps
Biggest Weakness-There aren't really any weaknesses in San Fran, so we'll go with their WR corps
The 49ers will once again win the division as they still have the best roster as well as probably the best coach, but will take a step back this season as they don't go undefeated in the division. (2007 12-4) Projected
2008 record: 10-6 win division
49ers 2. Cardinals-Nobody had as much turnover in their roster this year than the Cardinals, as they will have 13 new starters.
They have several key losses including WR's Fitzgerald and Breaston, OLB Haggans, LG Faneca, and NFC DB of the year Vasher.
Their biggest additions were MLB Hawk, CB Cook, TE Cook, WR Thomas and Price.
Biggest Strength-Their secondary
Biggest Weakness-Their WR corps
Although they seemed to be taking a step back as they start rebuilding, new coach Nevin is optimistic, and they should improve a little over last season. (2007 7-9) Projected
2008 record: 8-8 miss playoffs

3. Seahawks-The Seahawks took at hit on their DL this season, losing Olshansky and Cofield. Their biggest change this year comes at QB where they lose Matt Hasselbeck to retirement, and add rookie QB Bill Carpenter. Carpenter has a bigger arm and is more accurate, but his decision making is quite a bit weaker than the veteran.
Biggest Strength-LB Corps
Biggest Weakness-WR corps
The Seahawks will get better as Carpenter develops into a stud QB. But for now, they are about the same. (2007 5-11) Projected
2008 record: 6-10 miss playoffs

4. Rams-After an extemely disappointing season in 2007, the Rams didn't do much this offseason. They lost RE James Hall to retirement. They added Bobby Carpenter in free agency which was a big pickup. Their biggest problem last season was relying on Troy Smith as their starting QB. Drafting Baird with the #2 pick was a big upgrade, although Baird will struggle as a rookie.
Biggest Strength-Running game
Biggest Weakness-WR corps
The Rams will improve with the upgrade at QB, but Baird needs to develop before the Rams become a playoff contender. (2007 2-14) Projected 2008 record: 5-11
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