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How Every NFC West Team Can Make/Miss The Postseason

No one can predict who will actually make the playoffs this far out. But I can sure can tell you how they'll miss it!

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 it’s because you’ve been too busy crying about the NBA being rigged…..is that a good tie in to all 3 articles I’ve done on here?

Okay. Good.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

JJ NElson

Will make the postseason if: 

I’m going to be straight up biased here and say that JJ Nelson will play a role in whether or not this team makes the postseason. This team is so poised for him to have a breakout year that it would be disappointing if he doesn’t become the third wheel. Basically, Arizona has a POWERHOUSE offensively, from offensive-minded Bruce Arians to a beyond solid veteran in Carson Palmer (who had an unbelievably underrated season last year) to Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald. They’ve also got stellar compliments in Nelson and Brown who can absolutely take the top off almost any opposing defense. They’re going to be hard to defend, again, especially if the running game continues the upward trend. CJ2K revived his career last year when a lot of people thought he should have hung it up a long time ago. Defensively they’re one of the most consistent units in the league (sans the blowout they suffered against Carolina).They have one of the most solid defensive backfield in Peterson, Honey Badger, Powers, Johnson and Jefferson. One of the scariest front 7s in the league that can overpower you instantaneously and put you in bad starting position over and over again. If Arizona doesn’t make the postseason it’ll be an utter disappointment.

Will miss the postseason if:

Carson goes down early, but even that might not be enough. Drew Stanton is a strong backup who could still get Arizona to the postseason with the weapons he’d be provided. It would likely take another situation similar to 2014 where Palmer AND Stanton went down leaving Ryan Lindley and Logan Thomas. Besides that, maybe losing Palmer AND the running game. Basically they would have to take two major hits in order to be taken out of contention.

San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Will make the postseason if:

Chip Kelly is a God among men and turns Blaine Gabbert into an all-pro QB. Word has already come out that Gabbert will win/has won the starting job and will be the guy in the Bay Area (riveting). Which means Chip Kelly will not only have to revive a career that is the very definition of a disappointment, he’ll have to do it with a team whose roster still has not recovered from the total decimation it underwent after Harbaugh’s departure/the mass retirement exodus. In short it would take all the right things clicking for this team to make the postseason. I almost never doubt a team out because NFL talent is NFL talent and under the right leadership and development, a team full of average players can make a great run (they just usually tend to fizzle out from exhaustion at the end, see 2010-2012 Atlanta Falcons). That’s really the only scenario I see that allows SF to make the postseason.

Will miss the postseason if:

You can give almost any scenario and it will fit the bill for this. This team is just not talented enough to seriously compete right now. They will win a few games, that’s for sure, as they’re not completely hopeless (see 2005 edition, my goodness). But the number of games they win will likely be less than 7. They need to rebuild and that’s perfectly fine, it just sucks that Jim Tomsula was the sacrificial lamb until they got a coach they wanted. Might as well have given him a full year interim tag and not got his hopes up.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-Rookie Minicamp
May 6, 2016; Oxnard, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) looks for a receiver during rookie minicamp at River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES RAMS

Will make postseason if:

Jared Goff is worth the future this team just mortgaged to get him. Look, I get it, if you see your guy sitting out there, you need to go get him, but I just feel like the Rams might have given up WAYYYYY too much to do so. Goff might be the guy, the only issue is that if you’re Jeff Fisher, you better hope Goff takes you to the top QUICKLY. Or else Jeff Fisher will be looking for a new job. You build through the draft, and Fisher has decimated his next few drafts for Goff, therefore the only way he will be able to justify his team’s future lack of depth is if he’s able to show enough promise to lure some free agents in to fill said gap for the next few seasons. It’s a risky move that hardly ever pays off early. Back to the team, there are a few weapons there, and while they don’t necessary have a large amount of “elite” players, they do have some really good talent. Tavon Austin is a very dangerous threat, and while he’s not stretching the field like many thought he would, he’s still a solid #1 for Goff. Kenny Britt doesn’t really scare anyone, but again, he is a solid WR. They’ve got an eye on Duke Williams, who has enormous talent coming out of Auburn, but has made enough mistakes to wonder whether or not he’ll actually make the final roster. Defensively they do have two of the league’s best defensive players in Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn, so defensive pressure should be there all season long. Their secondary can do enough to create turnovers, but will need to capitalize off of the front 7’s efforts to routinely put Goff in positive situations.

Will miss the postseason if:

Goff is anything but above average during his rookie season. Again, this is a talented team, but they aren’t talented enough for a so-so rookie QB to take them to the postseason. Unless Goff plays out of his mind and Donald/Quinn can consistently stop the run and create enough pressures to cause bad turnovers game after game. I just don’t see it and I don’t see LA making the postseason, if anything we’ll have another 8-8 season for them.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

marshawn quess
Marshawn left because they didn’t have anymore quesadillas

 Will make the postseason if:

They can transform their running game without the power of Marshawn Lynch. Make no mistake, missing Lynch’s presence alone will be a huge blow for this team. They respond to the way he plays the game, his electrifying runs get the defense ready to go and open up lanes for Russell Wilson. Replacing that will be difficult, very difficult, as a matter of fact, it’s almost impossible. HOWEVER, that does not mean they can’t run the ball successfully, which is ultimately what they need. Thomas Rawls did a decent job last year, not enough can be said about how he kept that running game afloat, but they’ll need more out of him this year if they want back in the postseason. Also, Russell Wilson must continue his growth at QB, and Darrell Bevell cannot deviate in the least from what has worked: get him outside the pocket, work the outside routes that he throws best, avoid going over the middle as much as possible. Nobody is worried about their defense. It isn’t classic Legion of Boom levels, but it is still great enough to win a championship.

Will miss the postseason if:

Darrell Bevell tries to get ahead of himself and “reinvent” his offense. Don’t do that bro. Chill out and let Wilson’s style lead the way, not the other way around. There are also other possible factors: the running game disappears, Richard Sherman loses both his limbs, and the rest of the NFC West (namely SF and LA) decide they’re tired of the BS and post 10-win seasons.

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