It isn’t too often I can write about both divisions I cover in just one article but after the first week in the 2021 NFL season, the AFC West and the NFC West divisions have one pretty impressive thing in common. Every team in both divisions won their first games. That makes me able to say, without question, the West is currently Best in the NFL.
Yeah yeah, it’s just the first week. And yeah yeah, none of them played a divisional opponent. But it wasn’t just the fact they won their games, but how they won them that made it impressive.
With the Pro Football Hall of Fame game and induction ceremonies over, we are just days away from week one of the 2021 NFL preseason. For what has seemed like an eternity, we have been waiting to get our eyes on new players, new coaches, and new schemes. Soon, that day will arrive.
Now for some teams, not much will change. Like both Super Bowl teams from last season, a few teams kept the majority of their players and all of their coaching staff. But the majority of teams have had some pretty big changes. Changes that could turn the fate of an entire franchise.
Now, we all know that preseason games aren’t real games. They are glorified practices that help the team decide who makes the final roster. But they also offer opportunities. Opportunities for unknown players to become know. For players far down the depth chart to move up. Opportunities for fans to find new fan favorites.
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. And again, and again. The NFC West is the toughest division in football. This isn’t to disparage other divisions, as there are many fantastic divisions. However, over the last 7-10 years when you look at the records, how many times the winner of the NFC West has changed, how many times the division has represented the NFC in the Super Bowl… it’s hard to argue against my point.
In my article yesterday, I mentioned how the “rich got richer” when talking about the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFC West. For the NFC West, the entire division got even more competitive… which is saying a lot. Let’s take a look at how each team drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Every few weeks during the regular season, and every month or so during the offseason, I chat with a group of fans from all around the NFL to ask them a question. This month’s edition focused on free agency as that is the hot topic of the month.
Fans often have a very different perspective regarding moves their team makes than the general media does. Fans look at their team with emotion and heart. The media, or more cynical fans, tend to focus more on statistics and grades given by random websites.
The NFL playoffs have begun! With the expanded playoff field, there were two full days of football, with three games on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday featured two games for the NFC, bringing together two heated division rivals, a goat, and a hungry 7-9 team.
I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of the expanded playoffs. I believe that the top two teams in each conference deserved a bye week. However, the expansion does let some of those fantastic teams who would just miss out on the playoffs in the old system, fight for the Lombardi. Let’s take a look at Saturday’s NFC battles.
The 2020 NFL season is winding down and every game is starting to have a massive impact on the playoffs. Teams are locking in their seeding, while others are fighting just to get in. For the AFC West, it is all wrapped up. The Kansas City Chiefs have the top seed, while the other teams are all out. But in the NFC West, there is still some wiggle room surrounding the playoffs.
The Chiefs, once again, dominated their division. While their only loss so far this year was in division, to the Las Vegas Raiders, they were never really in danger of not winning the division. Kansas City wrapped up the AFC West title last week, and this week did the same for the number 1 seed in the entire AFC. They will have a bye week to start the playoffs, and home-field advantage throughout.
The Chiefs are going to be dominant in this league for years.
With just three games remaining in the season, there are already a handful of divisions that have been claimed. However with the NFC West, much like it has the last few seasons, it will come down to those last few games before a winner can be claimed. For the most competitive division in football, it could be a photo finish at the end.
We all know that there could be 3 NFC West teams that make the playoffs, but claiming the division could be a harder chore. With the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both sitting at 9-4, the Rams hold the first place spot due to their 23-16 win over the Seahawks in Week 10. These teams will meet again in week 15. This game could, and most likely will end up deciding the division.
It’s time again for the Our Turf Football Fan Forum. For those new here, once a month I ask the members of our Fan Forum a question to get their thoughts on the state of their team or football in general. Since this month is full of holidays and (hopefully) good cheer, I decided the question should reflect that.
In a season we weren’t even sure would happen, there have been a lot of ups and downs. Between very little training camp, no preseason, and COVID-19 issues, there has been a lot that has gone wrong in the 2020 season. However, in my opinion, there has been a lot that has gone well too. And that was my question for the forum.
In a season that wasn’t guaranteed and had lots of things going against it, what has gone well? I told the members it could be about anything NFL, and they came up with some fantastic answers.
In just a handful of plays, in a couple of different games, the waters got muddy in the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks decided this week was the week to forget they were the best offense in the league, and the Los Angeles Rams took full advantage of it. The Arizona Cardinals, on a wing and a prayer (and the arm of their quarterback), threw a Hail Mary that was almost impossible to catch… until they did.
These two games created a log jam at the top of the NFC West. Three teams that are 6-3. We knew this was the best division in football, and this week proved it is going to be a fight to the end to win it.
We are halfway through a season we weren’t even sure we were going to get. It seems almost impossible, but the NFL has kept on track during the pandemic and for some teams, things are going quite well. Others…not so much.
I reached out to our fan forum to check in with them to see how they felt their favorite teams were doing 8 weeks into the 2020 season.
Matt Cullen is a new member of our fan forum. He is a long-suffering New York Jets fan, and at the halfway mark, is ready for a change.