NFL Win Total Predictions – NFC West

08 / 04 / 2022 By Ally Mielnicki

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Last season, three out of the four teams in the NFC West clinched a playoff berth (Rams, 49ers, Cardinals). Moreover, two of those three teams squared off against each other in the NFC Championship game (Rams, 49ers). And one of those teams eventually battled and won the Super Bowl in its hometown (Rams).

Like its counterpart in the AFC, the NFC West is stacked with teams capable of making a deep playoff run, with the Seattle Seahawks being the only exception. The Rams, Niners, and Cardinals possess potent rosters with dynamic playmakers who can take over a game. 

Now, as we enter the preseason, let’s look at which of these teams we like to duplicate their successful 2021 campaigns and whether or not the Seahawks will be on the clock with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Arizona Cardinals

Win Total Over/Under: 8.5

Prediction: Under

It’s been a tumultuous offseason for the Cardinals. WR DeAndre Hopkins received a six-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Kyler Murray had issues with a film study condition in his new contract extension, and Arizona lost DE Chandler Jones, WR Christian Kirk, and RB Chase Edmonds. Are any positives out there besides trading for former Ravens WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown?

It would be hard-pressed to find anything optimistic about this upcoming season for the Cardinals. The last time we watched this team compete, they were utterly embarrassed against the Rams in the Wild Card Round. The disastrous loss will most definitely have a ripple effect on this season. This team is still picking up the pieces from the defeat and has to enter the year without its top receiver in Hopkins. 

What may be understated is Murray’s rocky relationship with the team. After plenty of grumbling about whether or not Murray wanted out of Arizona, the young QB ended up signing an extension. However, there was much clamoring about a clause requiring Murray to watch a minimum of 4 hours of film study per week. The backlash was significant enough to ultimately coerce the front office to remove the requirement from the contract, even though Murray had previously agreed to it.

This team has too much baggage and offseason drama for me to trust it to repeat its success from 2021. Without Hopkins, the Cardinals will struggle to make plays on offense, as was evident when he missed multiple games last season. Add to the fact that Murray voiced his displeasure with the club about the contract clause in the media, and you are looking at a leader who publicly calls out his squad. That’s enough for me to side with the Under on this one.


Los Angeles Rams

Win Total Over/Under: 10.5

Prediction: Over

A few months after hoisting the Lombardi trophy in the air, who would have thought this Rams team would get better in the offseason? Odell Beckham Jr. may no longer be with the team, but LA found a worthy replacement in longtime Bears WR Allen Robinson II to add to their offensive potency.

On the defensive end, Von Miller may have signed with Buffalo, but the Rams opted to bring in LB Bobby Wagner from the Seahawks. LA also saw the return of Aaron Donald, who pondered retirement following the Super Bowl win.

This team is in the ideal position to repeat as champions on paper. Matt Stafford should be able to pick up where he left off with the addition of Robinson alongside his go-to Cooper Kupp. Add a healthy Cam Akers to the backfield, and this team has arguably the best offense in the NFC.

It’s no question I am taking the Over. The three other teams in the West all downgraded in terms of talent, while the Rams only improved. It’s a no-brainer Over for me.


San Francisco 49ers

Win Total Over/Under: 10

Prediction: Under

After losing in the NFC Championship game, it appears the Niners are moving away from Jimmy Garoppolo as their franchise QB and ringing in the Trey Lance era. Despite leading this team to one Super Bowl and two NFC Championships in the past three seasons, the Niners brass deduced Garoppolo was not the QB that would bring home the Lombardi trophy to the Bay Area. As a result, Garoppolo is free to seek a trade while Lance takes reps with the first team during training camp.

Last season, we did not see much of Lance, but it was enough for the coaching staff and front office to deem him ready to take over under center. He appeared in 6 games, albeit only two starts, and completed 57.7% of his passes for 603 yards, 5 TDs, and 2 INTs – enough for a poor 33.4 QBR. Much is expected of Lance this season, especially since the Niners were one win away from another Super Bowl appearance last season. Fortunately, the Niners still possess a solid defensive unit and dynamic playmakers such as Deebo Samuel, Elijah Mitchell, and George Kittle. Lance has all the weapons in his pocket; now, he must show results and prove he is the future.

Initially, I picked the Niners to clinch at least a Wild Card berth, but that was before Lance was confirmed as the starter. We know what this team can accomplish with Jimmy G. at the helm, but it is a total gamble with Lance. Though he was a rookie last season and saw limited time, I’m not convinced he is yet ready to captain this team. If Jimmy G. remains on the roster when the season begins, there is a chance we can see him on the field if Lance struggles, but all signs indicate that the Niners will release Garoppolo if they cannot find a trade partner. This one is an Under for me. 


Seattle Seahawks

Win Total Over/Under: 5.5

Prediction: Under

Will it be Drew Lock or Geno Smith at QB this season for the Seahawks? Well, it may not ultimately matter, as this team looks prime to tank to secure one of the top spots in next April’s draft and select their next franchise signal caller. It was an impressive run for Russell Wilson, which included two Super Bowl appearances and one win. Still, Seattle needed a makeover and profited from the multiple draft picks, along with Lock and TE Noah Fant, which they acquired for Wilson in the trade with Denver. 

The Seahawks inked top wideout D.K. Metcalf to a long-term extension last week, so they are not entirely in a rebuild mode. However, they also lost RB Chris Carson, who decided to retire, leaving the starting job to Rashard Penny. Still, Tyler Lockett and Freddie Swain remain reliable targets, and Fant should improve the TE position. That may not matter, though, if neither Smith nor Lock can produce in the pocket.

To make matters worse, Seattle’s defense ranked near the bottom last season in points and yards allowed per game. They did little to improve in the offseason and watched LB Bobby Wagner and CB D.J. Reed walk in free agency. 

This should come as no surprise, but it would be a stretch if Seattle could accumulate more than a handful of wins. The Seahawks play in the hardest division in the NFC and have a grueling non-conference schedule. With the Wilson trade, Seattle is investing in its future and has no plans to be in contention this season. Under all the way.


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