The San Francisco 49ers are favored to not only win their division, but also the Super Bowl. While the team has talent, youth, experience and depth, they are not a complete lock to become champions of the NFL, let alone the NFC West. The division has become the most competitive division in the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks secured a wildcard spot and defeated the NFC East Champion Washington Redskins before losing to the Atlanta Falcons. Though they no longer have running back Steven Jackson, the St. Louis Rams always play the 49ers tough. Actually San Francisco did not win a game against the Rams as they played to a tie with then starting quarterback Alex Smith and a loss with now starter Colin Kaepernick. Rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin is slated to be an open field threat out of the gate. The Arizona Cardinals have also upgraded themselves at quarterback with veteran Carson Palmer.
This will not be an easy season in the division for the 49ers. Head coach Jim Harbaugh will have to make sure his team does not start games in the hole. Kaepernick needs to make sure he can run a hurry-up offense — something he obviously could not do in the Super Bowl. Then of course, the team has to stay relatively healthy throughout the season.
Before the 49ers’ fan base begins online searching for cheap flights and hotels to East Rutherford, NJ, their favorite team needs to at least win the division and/or make the playoffs. On paper, give them the Lombardi Trophy. Once the month of September hits, crumble up the paper and shoot the trash can jump shot.