A few days ago Dominic predicted the upcoming season for the NFC South. He made the valid statement claiming that “it’s a tricky division.” Today we will take a look at the NFC West. And let me tell you, this time, it’s not a tricky division. To be fair, the NFC West is the fourth best division in the NFC. Fourth is pretty good, right? And it’s the eighth best division in the NFL. Eighth! That's an achievement worthy of being placed on the fridge door. Much to the despair of most football fans, one NFC West team must finish on top. Which means playoffs and a home ground advantage. But who will it be? Division Winners: St Louis Rams, 8-8. Not long ago I predicted the NFC West would not, for the second straight year, produce a playoff team with a winning record. I stand by that statement. The Rams held the edge over it’s divisional rivals this offseason given its stable QB position- Sam Bradford impressed the world in his first year in the NFL, and is only going to get better. St. Louis’ head office didn’t have to frantically conjure up miracle plans to improve their QB conundrum by either drafting a youngster from college, trade for a promising player from the Eagles or… pick up Tarvaris Jackson. The first half of St. Louis’ schedule is brutal. They play the Eagles, Giants, Ravens and Packers in their first few games. Cue face-palm #1. Don’t be surprised if they are sitting on a 1-6 record by week nine. But they finish the season with very winnable games, and should win most of them to finish 8-8, provided they haven't all thrown in the towel by then. Keys points: Coach Steve Spagnuolo is a defensive mastermind. The Rams ranked 12th in the league last season in average points allowed per game. It’s the offense that will make or break them this season. The acquisition of Mike Sims-Walker, Cadillac Williams and offensive guard Harvey Dahl will help them, provided Steven Jackson can improve his 3.8 YPC average and the Rams receivers can start making big plays (I’m looking at you, Amendola). Division Runners Up: Arizona Cardinals, 7-9. Arizona went all out on securing QB Kevin Kolb, and traded CB Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick for him. That’s a lot for a guy who has scored 11 TDS and 14 INTs throughout his entire career, with a passer rating of 73.2. Frankly, I think it was a gamble. But at least it can’t possibly be worse than 2010 with Derek Anderson and Max Hall playing with a golfer’s mentality- the lower score the better. Cue face-palm #2. Picking up TE Todd Heap helps, and he will be one of Kolb’s primary targets (alongside the magnificent Larry Fitzgerald) in 2011. The Cardinals ranked 31st in passing yards last season- this must change. Their running game isn’t good enough to compensate for a poor pass game. RB Beanie Wells needs to stand up and with Tim Hightower gone, I think he’ll do just that (provided of course their concerning O-Line can improve on last years after giving up 50 sacks). Key points: The most exciting prospect of Arizona’s upcoming season is to watch rookie CB Patrick Peterson flourish in the NFL. Deemed as possibly the best talent in the recent draft, Peterson will help fill the void Rodgers-Cromartie left. Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell need to hold firm on the D-line, too. Then: Seattle Seahawks, 6-10. The Seahawks were both winners and losers of this year’s free agency period. They stole Sidney Rice from Minnessota, Alan Branch from Arizona, alongside Zach Miller and Robert Gallery from Oakland. Win, win, win. On the other hand, they lost veteran and loveable QB Matt Hasselbeck (I’m fighting back tears as I write) to Tennessee, and said farewell to fan-favourite Lofa Tatupu and Lawyer Milloy, both who were great leaders and mentors to the younger brigade of players. Oh, they picked up Tarvaris Jackson along the way too. Cue face-palm #3. Despite their shiny new toys on offence, it won’t mean squat unless the QB can pass the ball accurately. Frankly, I can’t see it happening. Seattle won’t be terrible, but they won’t be a solid team either. They’ll make mistakes. They’ll make errors. And they’ll lose more than they win. Key points: Youth is an issue. Seattle has a very, very young team, particularly in their O-Line. Okung, Moffitt, Carpenter and Max Unger are all either first year rookies or about to enter their second year. Fortunately TJ is somewhat athletic and can avoid all those pass rushers that’ll be squeezing in. Their secondary is also filled with kids, meaning some big yardage will be given up through the air. Kam 'Bam-Bam' Chancellor and Earl Thomas will be relied upon to keep tight in coverage. Finally: San Francisco 49ers, 4-12.The 49ers biggest mistake this offseason was resigning Alex Smith. Cue face-palm #4. New coach Jim Harbaugh has publicly stated his approval of Smith, yet failed to notice his 51-53 TD to INT record during his five-year career. Until Smith either dramatically pulls a rabbit from his rear or leaves, the 49ers will struggle to find consistent success. Picking up WR Braylon Edwards helps and was their best move of the offseason, particularly due to Michael Crabtree’s injury that is likely to see him miss the entire preseason. Vernon Davis and Frank Gore will be relied on heavily to carry the offence, but whether they can carry the entire team on their shoulders alone is unlikely. Losing nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, OLB Manny Lawson, ILB Takeo Spikes and CB Nate Clements in the space of a few weeks is devastating for San Francisco. Their defense will be one of the weakest in the league this season. Fortunately for them they didn't lose Patrick Willis. Let’s hope he can single handedly take on an entire opposition offence. Key points: There are huge expectations on rookie pass-rusher Aldon Smith. How will he fare given the limited training due to the lockout, alongside the need for him to learn the new defense in such a limited amount of time? San Fran needs him to play well, and quickly. As a fan of an NFC West team, I’m thankful it’s a weak division. Every team, including my Seahawks, has a shot at the crown. As for others watching on? There’s only one thing you need to do. Sit back, grab a drink, and have a good laugh.