Last year at this time, the Rams were favored to win the NFC West, and they did precisely that.
The 49ers were favored to provide a spirited chase, which might possibly land them a playoff berth. They did precisely not that.
The Seahawks seemed to be a team ready to slide downward in the division. Instead, they were the team that provided a spirited chase and landed a playoff berth.
The Cardinals were picked to finish last and they dutifully complied, despite sweeping the Niners.
This year looks about the same as last year, although fewer people are bullish about the 49ers and fewer people are skeptical about the resiliency of the Seahawks.
It’s hard not to admit that Seattle is doing a far better job of rebuilding on the fly than the Niners have. Seattle hasn’t missed a beat; the 49ers have gone through three coaching staffs and haven’t sniffed .500 in four years of trying.
Still, the 49ers did manage to finally beat the Seahawks last year, ending a double digit loss streak spanning five years. A hopeful glimpse ahead or just a fluke? We shall see.
To tell you the truth, though, this team is kind of boring. There’s no troublemakers, alcoholics, PED offenders, or even anyone who could be accused of having a personality. Joe Staley excepted. That’s all fine if you’re talking about the kind of folks you prefer in your neighborhood, but when guys are supposed to be Persons Of Interest, they kind of have to be interesting.
Maybe someone will emerge this year. Or they could start winning some games and be interesting as a whole, as contenders.