Who Will Win in Week 1: NFC West

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The NFC West is known as one of the best divisions in football, but, on occasion, can have a slow start to a season. While some of the teams seem to have gotten a good draw for week 1 of 2019, you can never count out an underdog.

I asked the fans who they thought would win each of the NFC West games this week, and the results aren’t really a surprise.

LA Rams vs Carolina Panthers
Sunday, 1p ET

The injury report for the Los Angeles Rams is exactly how head coach Sean McVey drew it up during the preseason. No Injuries Listed. By sitting his starters all preseason, McVey made it clear he wasn’t taking any chances for week 1, and it worked. Carolina, on the other hand, has 2 on their injury report, defensive end Bruce Irvin and tackle Greg Little, both listed as out.

Fans don’t seem to think the Rams will have the same “shaking off the rust” issues that the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers did in Thursday night’s opener.

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Injury update for the NFC West

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Specialist
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

“Just don’t let anyone get hurt”. That is the motto of most fans during the preseason. Unfortunately, injuries do happen, and they can make a huge impact on a season. This year, many teams have tried to minimize season impacting injuries by having their starters sit, but that doesn’t always work. Now that preseason is halfway over, let’s take a look at where the NFC West stands with injuries.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have completely changed the structure of preseason football. They have sat all offensive starters for every game and have no intention of playing them in the preseason. The formula has worked well for Los Angeles, but it isn’t perfect.

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Preseason week 2 for the AFC and NFC West

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

One of the nice things about covering both the AFC and NFC West teams is in the preseason is they usually play each other. It makes it easy to do a weekly preseason round up, but it also makes for a very long article. Stick with me, people.

Week 2 of the preseason gave most fans a good look at their backups. And yes there were lots of mistakes, but…its preseason.  Let’s take a look at the games played so far.

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What to look for in the first NFC West preseason games

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter NFC West and AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

While we all look forward to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game as the official start to the preseason, in the back of our minds, we all know that it is those first preseason games the week after that really kick things off. Let’s take a peek at the NFC West and what we should be looking for during week one.

The 2018 season for the NFC West had some fantastic matchups, a Super Bowl contender, and a team in turmoil. The Los Angeles Rams won the division at 13-3, with the Seattle Seahawks (10-6), San Francisco 49’ers (4-2), and the Arizona Cardinals (3-13) rounding it out. The Rams ran through the playoffs but were defeated in the Super Bowl by the New England Patriots.

This season is expected to be more competitive between the teams in the division. Seattle has signed their two most important players, quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner,  to long term contracts, stabilizing the team. San Francisco is hoping to avoid the dreaded injury bug that plagued their team last year so they can finally be able to see what they have in their QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

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Checking in on the San Francisco 49ers

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Sometimes, seasons just don’t go the way a team wants them to. In fact, that is more often the case than not.

However, for the San Francisco 49ers, 2018 didn’t just go slightly awry, it went completely off the rails.

I decided to check in with Jennifer Chan, 49ers writer for NBC Sports Bay Area to see how the offseason has gone in San Francisco.
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Future playmakers found in the late rounds of NFC/AFC West drafts

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

When people talk about NFL stars who were found in the late rounds of the draft, there are a few names that are always brought up. Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, Bo Jackson, Terrell Davis… it’s a long list. The western divisions in both conferences have a tendency to find these players regularly and turn them into superstars. Let’s take a look at this year’s picks and see if there could be another future star.

You can find an entire list of AFC draft picks for each team here.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs have found some fantastic late round steals in the past. KR Dante Hall, DE Jared Allen, and most recently G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. This year late round gem could also be an offensive line player.

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Ja’Quan Gardner is Niner’s loss, Fleets gain

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

If you didn’t catch the Sunday AAF San Diego Fleet’s win over the San Antonio Commanders you missed out on a great game and the emergence of a shifty running back.

Ja’Quan Gardner stands at 5’-7” and around 191 pounds. He went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft after leading the D-IAA conference with 206 carries, 1322 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns at Humboldt State. He caught 20 passes for 212 yards and two TDs while returning two kickoffs for scores as a senior.

He was also a First Team All-GNAC honors and rushed 249 times for 1,300 yards and 18 TDs, while making 42 catches for 324 yards in 2016. Prior to that, Gardner led the Division II in rushing with 2,266 yards and 25 TDs on 337 carries as a sophomore. How did he not get drafted? Well, when you are in a draft that had running backs Saquan Barkley, Sony Michel, Kerryon Johnson, Derrius Guice, and Nick Chubb, the odds are against you.

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Football is more than just a game

Sonja Greenfield NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

On Friday, Feb. 15th, the NFLPA released a statement saying that the NFL has reached a settlement with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid in their collusion case against the NFL.

The almost 3-year saga has, for all intents and purposes, has come to a sort of anti-climactic close.

Regardless of if you support Kaepernick and Reid or not, it opened up dialog.  Or at least attempted to.  I had a hard time finding people who could civilly discuss this online, but hopefully more civil discussions were had in “real life”.

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The best of the best NFL celebrations so far this season

Sonja Greenfield Detroit Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

The best decision the NFL has made was going back and allowing touchdown celebrations.  It even has a Twitter page dedicated to celebrations called @GetYaPopcorn.

Glad they got the message that celebrations are fun.  Wish they could get the message about other things, but that’s another post for another day.

Bottom line, the best thing for a good celebration, is winning.  One of the more clever ones is from the Chicago Bears, Club Dub.  They turn their locker room into a mock club environment and celebrate the win.  To show what a big person I am, I’m posting Club Dub-Thanksgiving Edition, when they beat the Lions.

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San Francisco 49’ers can’t shake the injury bug

Dayna O’Gorman Senior Sports Editor

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Snakebit. Injury bug. Plain old bad luck. Whatever you want to call it, whatever your favorite term, the San Francisco 49’ers has it. Due to injuries, the promise of the 2018 season, one that looked so bright in the offseason, seems to have lost its luster.

Every team goes through it at some point. Players seem to go down week after week with season-ending injuries. Once it gets started it’s like a train that cant’ be stopped. For San Francisco, injuries hit early and quick.

Obviously, the biggest hit was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who had just gotten a 5 year, $137 million contract. Garoppolo was expected to be the second coming of Joe Montana and was proving he was worth every dime. Then in the third game of the season, he took off for a 13-yard run, sliding at the end. Unfortunately, that slide caused a torn ACL. San Francisco was then forced to go with backup QB C.J. Beathard for the rest of the season.

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