The NFC West is expected to once again be very competitive in 2020 with each of the four teams closely bunched together on the futures board for oddsmakers as the opening kickoff of the regular season approaches. The defending division champion San Francisco 49ers are favored to repeat as the division champion with odds of -125, followed by the Seattle Seahawks at +350, Los Angeles Rams at +400 and the Arizona Cardinals at +700.
The San Francisco 49ers finished the 2019 regular season 13-3 and won the NFC West by two games over the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco went on to play in the Super Bowl and many football pundits believe the 49ers will repeat as NFC champions in 2020. Most of the roster from 2019 returns for the 49ers including defensive end Arik Armstead and the 49ers have added Trent Williams to their offensive line. San Francisco drafted defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw from South Carolina and Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Jimmy Garoppolo returns under center to lead the offense while the defense appears to be even stronger than last season.
The Seattle Seahawks were 11-5 in 2019 and Seattle split two head to head games with the 49ers. Head coach Pete Carroll returns as does star quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks drafted linebacker Jordan Brooks in the first round which came as a surprise to many as there were needs elsewhere on the club. On the offensive side of the ball, the Seahawks added tight end Greg Olsen and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. Chris Carson will return as the starting running back for Seattle after missing time due to injury last season. The defense will be the weak link as the front four and secondary have obvious weaknesses.
In 2019, the Los Angeles Rams were a disappointing 9-7 and missed the postseason after reaching the Super Bowl just two seasons ago. Head coach Sean McVay returns but the Rams will be without the departed Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks. The Rams also no longer have Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton amongst others. Jared Goff returns as the star quarterback and faces a great deal of pressure after receiving a huge $134 million dollar contract extension. Darrell Henderson Jr. takes over for the departed Gurley, while Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds will lead the receiver corps.
The Arizona Cardinals finished the 2019 season 5-10-1. Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray matured throughout the season and will have one of the NFL's best wide receivers in DeAndre Hopkins, who the Cardinals acquired via a trade. However, the Cardinals gave up oft-injured running back David Johnson in the trade but Kenyan Drake will step in as the starting running back. Arizona picked defensive standout Isaiah Simmons from Clemson with their first pick in the draft and in the third round the Cardinals took offense tackle Josh Jones.The Cardinals now have a solid base of skills position players with Murray, Hopkins, Drake, veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and upcoming star Christian Kirk.
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The NFC West will be a wide-open affair with the division title determined in the final one or two weeks of the regular season. Although the San Francisco 49ers are favored, Seattle, Los Angeles and Arizona have all improved during the off-season and each one has a legitimate shot at winning the NFC West. However, in the end the steady offense and a suffocating defense led by Nick Bosa will give San Francisco the division title with a 12-4 overall record and 4-2 in the division.