Ah, the NFC West, what I consider the SEC of the NFL. This division loves to beat each other up. There is no favorites in an NFC Matchup and its always a game worth watching. Lets take a peak at the quarterbacks of this division which may be the most interesting of the bunch with two premier guys, a competition in the Bay, and a first overall draft pick all in the mix. Should be a fun time.
Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Well, since the Seahawk fans have already quit reading
the blog, let’s talk about Carson Palmer. 4,671 Yards 35 Tds 11 Ints, when
Carson stays healthy we see exactly what he can do. Carson is 19-3 in the regular
season since 2014 and it’s largely due to his play. Obviously health is a
concern for the aging quarterback, but the talent on Arizona is real and they
have a great chance at repeating as champions in the NFC West. What I like
about Carson is that he plays some of his best football against division
opponents and things will only get easier with David Johnson taking over as the
starting RB. I see a slight decline in the numbers for Carson compared to last
season due to more touches for the running back group, but I don’t think he
drop in terms of production and winning football games.
Stat Prediction: 4,200 Yards 30 TDs 9 INTs and a couple
visits to the fountain of youth for Carson and Larry.
Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Living in Hawaii has been full of great experiences for
me. One of those great experiences has been the 2016 Pro Bowl and being able to
see Russell Wilson, who blew me away with his arm talent. His ability to send a
ball 60 yards at the blink of an eye is incredible. While I love Russell as an
athlete, I just can’t put him at the top spot when we are talking about
quarterback play. Leading the 20th ranked passing team with 4,024
yards 34 TDs and 8 INTS, there’s no denying that Russell Wilson is a superstar.
Not only that, he did it with a hurt RB corps and a weak offensive line. In
fact, Russell accounted for 500+ yards on the ground and was the team’s second
leading rusher. This season I expect Russell to have a better year. Adding CJ
Prosise from Notre Dame gives them a versatile pass catcher with excellent ability
after the catch, as well as adding a tackle with the first round pick, Germain
Ifedi from A&M, to relieve some of that NFC West pass rush. This may be the
year for Russell to define himself as an elite quarterback.
Stat Prediction: 4,100 Yards 36 TDs 5 INTs and atleast 10
references of the Malcom Butler play.
Gabbert, San Francisco 49ers
If I didn’t catch flack for having Carson over Russell
above, I’m getting it now for sure. Blaine Gabbert is my bold prediction for
the 2016 NFL season. I think he is going to outplay Colin Kaepernick for the
QB1 spot and then play an above average year. There is a ton of problems in the
SF organization since Jim Harbaugh left for UM, and I don’t expect them to be
fixed this season. Blaine is interesting because it is difficult to put the
blame on him when you see the inconsistencies in his coaches and schemes which
have changed every year he has been in the league. I think Blaine has excellent
athleticism and will be able to run the Chip Kelly offense effectively.
Stat Prediction: 3,400 22 TDs 14 INTS and an unexpected early retirement.
Goff, Los Angeles Rams
While I think Goff will have a great future, he is back
to the same deal from his freshman year where he has to build a broken team.
Now, the Rams offense really found its stride last season in the run game. I
see value in Goff in the play action game due to Gurley’s effectiveness, but if
these NFC West teams get the chance to pin their ears back and rush the QB, its
gonna be a long day for the rookie. Expect some flashes of greatness but also a
ton of mistakes.
Stat Prediction: 3,200 Yds 20 TDs 16 INTs for the chicken
legged Ryan Gosling impersonator.