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.
On Saturday all 32 teams finalized their 53-man roster, releasing and waiving players in a surprising frenzy. The big news, of course, was the blockbuster trade of Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Texans were willing to pay roughly half of Clowney’s $15.9 million salary for 2019 despite the franchised tag they placed on him. I would call that a win for Clowney and he gets to be a part of a newly built Seahawks front defense that now consists of Clowney, linebacker K.J. Wright, DE Ziggy Ansah, defensive lineman L.J. Collier, and LB Bobby Wagner.
You are going to see a lot of articles over the next few days about the impact Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will make on his new team. You’ll also see a lot of talk about players fighting for what they want. All are worthy subjects and I look forward to reading about it. But I’m here today to talk about something else.
Seattle Seahawks General Manager John Schneider might be a magician. A wizard even. It may be the only explanation for what he has managed to pull off in his career.
Now I’m not downplaying the role head coach Pete Carroll has had in all of this because we all know Carroll is essential to it all, but man… give Schneider a wand and a Hogwarts letter because he’s a master.
Editors Note: OurTurf Football has had a great, long-time friendship with Russell Baxter and we were honored when he asked a few of our writers to do team season previews for his website, PFG Vibe/ProFootballGuru. OTFB’s Dayna O’Gorman wrote up her thoughts on the upcoming season for the Seattle Seahawks. The article was originally published on Aug 23, 2019, and can be seen here.
In 2018 the Seattle Seahawks were supposed to be “rebuilding”. The famed Legion of Boom was gone. The offense hadn’t been the same since Marshawn Lynch left. It was supposed to be an off-year and expectations were low. Instead, the team went 10-6 and made the playoffs. In 2019 they have the highest-paid player in the league and a slew of young, hungry players who are itching to make their mark. While fans and media expectations still may not be sky high, the team believes they are right where they need to be to make another run.
“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.
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.
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.
On Thursday the Seattle Seahawks lost two iconic players, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and strong safety Kam Chancellor. While fans had the last year to get used to the idea of life after Bam Bam Kam, losing ABD (Angry Doug Baldwin) on the same day was a double punch to the gut.
I feel like I have written a lot of these articles lately. My first was my article about cornerback Richard Sherman leaving Seattle. Truly one of the hardest articles I’ve ever had to write. I’ve written about free safety Earl Thomas also leaving the team and what that meant going forward. But this one is different. These aren’t players that decided to chase a dollar amount, which I totally support so don’t come at me, but the game taking such a toll that injuries require them to move on. Men, who by all accounts, are young and in their primes.
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.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson signed a 4-year extension late last night, making him the highest paid player in the NFL. Wilson’s contract was set to expire at the end of 2019, but with the extension, he’ll be with Seattle until 2023.
Some of the details of the contract are 4 years, $140 million, a $65 million signing bonus (highest in NFL history), with a total of $107 million guaranteed. These numbers are not a surprise, as most agreed that Wilson would overtake QB Aaron Rodgers as the highest paid player in the league.
There was a lot of hand wringing from fans in Seattle as trade rumors swirled, New York Giants fans were campaigning and Seattle fans were panicking. Then came the deadline. It was announced that Wilson had imposed a deadline of April 15th for a new contract or else he was going to stop talks completely and simply play out the end of his contract.