Facebook Twitter
ProFootballLogic
ARTICLES TEAMS STATS RATINGS STANDINGS GAMES SCHEDULE PLAYERS METHOD SPORTS

2013 NFC West Preview

AFC: East | North | South | West         NFC: East | North | South | West

2012 Common Opponents: NFC North, AFC East
2013 Common Opponents: NFC South, AFC South

With dominant seasons by the 49ers and Seahawks last season and the arrival of Carson Palmer, the NFC West has quickly become one of the toughest and deepest divisions in the NFL. Last year, all 4 NFC West teams finished in the top 7 of our defensive ratings. While Seattle and San Francisco remain the class of the division, their impressive 2012 seasons are being somewhat overvalued when it comes to projecting the 2013 season. Teams with similar types of success in the past have often regressed a bit the following year, so Super Bowl expectations may be a bit too lofty for either squad. The Cardinals and Rams still aren't likely to steal the division title, but each have slim playoff hopes as well.

Arizona Cardinals

2012 Record: 5-11
2012 Rating: -5.9 (32nd of 32)
2012 Deserved Wins: 4.1
2013 Division Rank Opponents: PHI & DET
2013 Preliminary Rating: -2.7 (32nd of 32)
2013 Wins by Preliminary Rating: 6.1

Projected Changes to Starting Lineup:
QB - Kevin Kolb / 80 / BUF >>> Carson Palmer / 83 / OAK
RB - LaRod Stephens-Howling / 77 / PIT >>> Rashard Mendenhall / 82 / PIT
WR - Andre Roberts / 76 / - >>> Michael Floyd / 80 / -
G - Adam Snyder / 78 / SF >>> Paul Fanaika / 73 / FA
T - Bobby Massie / 73 / - >>> Eric Winston / 83 / KC
T - D'Anthony Batiste / 72 / PIT >>> Levi Brown / 77 / inj
LB - Paris Lenon / 77 / DEN >>> Karlos Dansby / 80 / MIA
LB - Sam Acho / 78 / - >>> John Abraham / 85 / ATL
LB - O'Brien Schofield / 76 / SEA >>> Lorenzo Alexander / 81 / WAS
CB - William Gay / 78 / PIT >>> Jerraud Powers / 80 / IND
S - Kerry Rhodes / 84 / FA >>> Rashad Johnson / 80 / -
S - Adrian Wilson / 82 / NE >>> Yeremiah Bell / 78 / NYJ

The Cardinals finished dead last in our team ratings in 2012 despite having our 3rd rated defense thanks to an offense that we rated 2.6 points worse per game than any other team in the league. Arizona also ranks last in our preliminary 2013 ratings, but that can be ignored due to their massive roster changes. Compared to last season's group of terrible and injured QBs, the acquisition of Carson Palmer alone will be a huge plus for Arizona. Add to that other upgrades, and the Cardinals could be a league average offense in 2013. Meanwhile the Cardinals potent defense has seen some changes, but has probably had at least as many upgrades as downgrades. A difficult division will probably keep the Cardinals out of the playoffs, but they should have no problem bouncing back to a more respectable record and at least a shot at making the playoffs.

San Francisco 49ers

2012 Record: 11-4-1
2012 Rating: 5.0 (4th of 32)
2012 Deserved Wins: 10.4
2013 Division Rank Opponents: WAS & GB
2013 Preliminary Rating: 1.6 (8th of 32)
2013 Wins by Preliminary Rating: 8.9

Projected Changes to Starting Lineup:
WR - Michael Crabtree / 85 / inj >>> Anquan Boldin / 83 / BAL
WR - Randy Moss / 79 / FA >>> Marlon Moore / 74 / MIA
DT - Isaac Sopoaga / 79 / PHI >>> Ian Williams / 77 / -
S - Dashon Goldson / 83 / TB >>> Eric Reid / 81 / rk

The 49ers don't fare particularly well in our preliminary 2013 ratings, but their 2012 rating possibly would have been higher had Kaepernick started the whole season, and they have managed to keep almost all of their talented roster intact. Lack of wide receiver depth has hurt San Francisco, but if WRs Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham are able to contribute late in the season the offense could pick up steam. The 49ers will likely find themselves in a very close division race with their new rivals Seattle. They should have little trouble making the playoffs, but it is probably premature to expect San Francisco to be among the top few teams in the league in 2013.

Seattle Seahawks

2012 Record: 11-5
2012 Rating: 5.5 (3rd of 32)
2012 Deserved Wins: 10.8
2013 Division Rank Opponents: NYG & MIN
2013 Preliminary Rating: 1.8 (6th of 32)
2013 Wins by Preliminary Rating: 9.0

Projected Changes to Starting Lineup:
G - John Moffitt / 75 / CLE >>> James Carpenter / 79 / inj
DT - Alan Branch / 82 / BUF >>> Tony McDaniel / 78 / MIA
LB - Leroy Hill / 82 / FA >>> Bruce Irvin / 81 / -

Like their mirror-image rival 49ers, the Seahawks come off a great season keeping most of their roster intact but dealing with a couple injured players coming into the season. Also like San Francisco, Seattle saw great success in many categories that often regress the most, so their preliminary 2013 rating falls a bit short compared to their 2012 rating. As a result, it is nearly impossible to separate the two, but it can be assumed that one of them will win the division title while the other likely gains a wild card spot.

St. Louis Rams

2012 Record: 7-8-1
2012 Rating: -0.8 (21st of 32)
2012 Deserved Wins: 6.9
2013 Division Rank Opponents: DAL & CHI
2013 Preliminary Rating: -0.5 (23rd of 32)
2013 Wins by Preliminary Rating: 7.5

Projected Changes to Starting Lineup:
RB - Steven Jackson / 83 / ATL >>> Daryl Richardson / 76 / -
WR - Brandon Gibson / 81 / MIA >>> Tavon Austin / 82 / rk
TE - Lance Kendricks / 79 / - >>> Jared Cook / 83 / TEN
G - Robert Turner / 78 / TEN >>> Shelley Smith / 76 / -
T - Barry Richardson / 77 / TEN >>> Jake Long / 87 / MIA
LB - Rocky McIntosh / 78 / DET >>> Alec Ogletree / 80 / rk
LB - Jo-Lonn Dunbar / 78 / FA >>> Will Witherspoon / 79 / TEN
S - Quintin Mikell / 81 / FA >>> T.J. McDonald / 77 / rk
S - Craig Dahl / 78 / SF >>> Darian Stewart / 77 / -

Offseason roster changes probably won't have a big impact on the Rams, but the acquisition of T Jake Long could help some. Fueled by the pass offense making progress under QB Sam Bradford, the Rams jumped back into the middle class of the league in 2012. But it would take another sizable step forward by the pass offense to make St. Louis competitive in the tough NFC West, which may be a bit too much to expect. In 2013, the Rams have slim playoff hopes, but more likely they will find themselves with a similar record to their 2012 season.

AFC: East | North | South | West         NFC: East | North | South | West

Recent Articles
Wk 17 Playoff Scenarios 2017   -   12/31/17
Grading NFL Franchises   -   9/28/17
Tom Brady Is Not The G.O.A.T.   -   8/3/17
NFL Census 2016   -   4/19/17
Do NCAA Basketball Teams Get Hot?   -   3/15/17
How Good Are Pro Bowl Teams?   -   1/28/17
Wk 17 Playoff Scenarios 2016   -   1/1/17
Rating Field Goal Kickers   -   8/28/16
Rating NFL Quarterbacks   -   6/20/16
2016 NCAA Basketball Model   -   3/16/16
Fundamental Articles
Site Summary and Features   -   7/5/12
The ProFootballLogic Method   -   7/5/12
Stats Explained   -   7/5/12
How Variation Affects Outcomes   -   7/5/12
Ratings Explained   -   7/5/12
General Play Type Analysis   -   7/5/12
London and Home Field Disadvantage   -   8/21/12
Ranking College Conferences   -   1/11/13
Draft Position and Player Quality   -   4/25/13
The Changing Landscape of the NFL   -   5/21/13
College Yearly Rating Regression   -   8/28/13
How College Basketball Rankings Fail   -   2/28/14
Franchise Tag Position Problems   -   3/7/14
Developing a World Cup Model   -   6/9/14
Optimizing College Playoff Selection   -   11/26/14
The Science of Football Deflation   -   1/27/15
2015 College Football Model   -   9/3/15
2015 NFL Team Ratings Model   -   10/20/15
NFL Injury Rate Analysis   -   2/22/16
2016 NCAA Basketball Model   -   3/16/16
How Good Are Pro Bowl Teams?   -   1/28/17
Do NCAA Basketball Teams Get Hot?   -   3/15/17
NFL Census 2016   -   4/19/17
Tom Brady Is Not The G.O.A.T.   -   8/3/17
Grading NFL Franchises   -   9/28/17