In the last installment of the NFL 2023 Win-Loss Projection Part VI, we ran through the NFC South, and saw that the Saints were have the best chance to run away with that division. You got an in-depth look at where each of those teams would finish the season and why, along with some key games on their respective schedules. Today we’re going to move to the NFC West and project where each team in that division will finish in the Win/Loss columns for 2023. There were plenty of big headlines in the NFC South this offseason especially after the San Francisco 49ers lost in the NFC Championship Game due to running out of healthy quarterbacks! Who will be behind Center for the 49ers this year? In Los Angeles, the Rams get two BIG names back with Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. How well do they “recooperate”? The Seahawks went out and addressed some offensive needs to become a exciting team to watch, but how well did they improve on defense? Finally, there’s the Cardinals. Oh, what a mess. Let’s see where they will all finish in 2023.
San Francisco 49ers: 12-5
I think they have a “Purdy Great Team” IF Brock can come back from his injury and plays the whole year.
It might be Trey Lance, which then flips this record right around! Outside of Arizona, Tampa, and Washington, the 49ers have a tough schedule though. I think they will start hot with a 7-1 record before the Bye with four winnable home games, and an easy first-half road schedule. The Bye Week comes at a perfect time, and then they’ll have to show that they’re an NFC Championship Game team on the backstretch. Notable Wins: At home vs. the Giants, and at Cleveland in Week 6. Notable Losses: At Jacksonville even after their Bye Week, and at Philadelphia in Week 13.
Los Angeles Rams: 9-8
The Rams have quarterback Matt Stafford back, but there’s no way to know if he’ll play like the 2021 Super Bowl winning Stafford or the 2022 “playing 8 ½ mediocre games and then getting hurt” Stafford. Cooper Kupp is coming off an injury too, so they aren’t in great shape (no pun intended), but they’re better than the 5-12 record from last year. They have a relatively easy schedule with Indy, Washington, Green Bay and Arizona twice, and their Bye Week comes after their ninth game. This record is not a stretch.
Notable Wins: At home vs. the Steelers in Week 7, and at Green Bay in Week 9. Notable Losses: At Cincinnati in Week 3 and at Baltimore in Week 14.
Seattle Seahawks: 8-9
You can only win Comeback Player of Year once, Geno Smith! While the offense looks legit with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, I’m calling Geno’s bluff that he’s a 100+ Rating QB.
That could blow up in my face though, and they could challenge San Fran for the NFC West Title. However, the Seahawks needed to address the defensive side of the ball more in the off-season and they just didn’t. As we all know, “Defense Wins Championships”. Plus, their Bye in Week 5 is going to challenge their durability and resolve later in the season.
If Geno can’t run this offense effectively, this team will be lost. Notable Wins: At home vs. Cleveland in Week 8, and at Tennessee Week 16. Notable Losses: at Cincinnati in week 6, and at B-More in Week 9.
Arizona Cardinals: 4-13
The Cardinals finished last season at 4-13, and they didn’t get better from there. They play in a tough division, that they could very well get swept in, and they have to go up against the AFC North and NFC East. That’s brutal. Honestly, I don’t see a winnable game for them until Week 10, unless they can catch the Commanders off guard in Week 1. Weeks 2-9 is going to be a long stretch for Cardinals fans.
Notable Wins: At home vs. Atlanta in Week 10, and an upset in Seattle in Week 18. Notable Loses: None of the loses are “notable” because they aren’t expected to win.
This is the SEVENTH of an eight part series that will cover each of the NFL divisions. Please continue to come back to find out who will be winning each division this year, making the playoffs and eventually getting to the Super Bowl. Next up is the NFC East with the Commanders, Cowboys, Eagles and Giants. Will it be back-to-back division titles for the Eagles, or have the Cowboys or Giants made enough moves in the offseason to surpass them? How will Jalen Hurts bounce back from the Super Bowl loss? Can the Cowboys get it done without Elliott? Barkley is coming back for the Giants. Can he stay healthy and have another outstanding season? What the hell is going on with Washington!? When I’m finished covering each NFC division, we’ll get into the post season. That way you’ll know if you should even bother to watch football this year. Thanks for the “read”!