The Arizona Cardinals & The Wild NFC West

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Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs past Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) during the first half of the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers

Let’s start with San Francisco, adding physical cornerback Jimmy Ward and punishing big running back Carlos Hyde through the draft. Besides bringing back Anquan Boldin, Stevie Johnson (acquired from Buffalo) and 6th round speedster Bruce Ellington will give Colin Kapernick new toys to work with.

The defense does have questions marks, as the unit will return without safety Donte “Hitner” and in his place will be Antoine Bethea, a slight downgrade at a cheaper price. Also absent from the opening day roster will be All-Pro linebacker, Navarro Bowman as well as Pro-Bowl linebacker, Aldon Smith who is expected to be suspended due to legal issues. Even with issues at the linebacking corps make no mistake about it, the 49ers will once again be one of the top 10 teams in the NFL and should still win their fair share of games in the grueling NFC West.

Transitioning to the Midwest were no team is more unpredictable in the division than the St. Louis Rams. With enough potential to win 10 games along with enough uncertainty to land last in the division once again. Their front seven led by Robert Quinn (19.5 sacks), Chris Long (8.5 sacks), James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogeltree (over 200 tackles combined) will be a force to reckon with. Sam Bradford returns from ACL surgery in what should amount to be a make or break season for the former number one overall draft pick. There will be no excuses as Bradford will be throwing to the most explosive player within the division, Tavon Austin.