NFC strong in Super Bowl bid

Peter Ha

Coming into the 2014-2015 NFL season, the NFC West division looks to be the toughest division to play in, with the defending Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks, along with the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams.
During the off-season Seattle re-signed Richard Sherman who is perhaps the best shutdown corner in the NFL. The team also kept their defense strong by re-signing Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor, who were leading defensive for the Seahawks. This season the Seahawks will get wide receiver Percy Harvins back from injury. He was an all star for the Vikings two seasons ago. With Russell Wilson in his third season, he is quickly developing into a star quarterback. After the hold out from the Seahawk’s star running back Marshawn Lynch in training camp, Lynch is back with the team and the Seahawks look to be right back on the road to being a contender for another Super Bowl.
The 49ers were not too active in the off-season because they were already a strong team, but were decimated with injuries last season. The 49ers re-signed quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a six year extension who will be the franchise quarterback in San Francisco. Signing Kaepernick is a huge risk because the 49ers are not deep in the quarterback position. If Kaepernick was to get injured, Blaine Gabbert would be his backup, which is a huge drop off in talent. Stevie Johnson, a strong wide receiver coming from Buffalo in a trade, will certainly help the 49ers with his deep threat presence. The biggest problem for the 49ers is their highest ranked offensive lineman, Alex Bonne, who held himself out of training camp because he thinks he is being underpaid. Nonetheless, the San Francisco 49ers should not be hugely affected by the Bonne hold out due to the depth in their roster. After losing in the NFC conference championship last season, the 49ers look to bounce back and take a run for the Super Bowl.
The Arizona Cardinals, who were a surprise team for football fans last year, had some additions to improve their team during the offseason. With Carson Palmer coming off a solid season, the Cardinals added wide receiver Ted Ginn to their receiving core. Ginn, with his super sonic speed, will be returning kick offs for the Cardinals as well. Maybe the best move for Arizona this off-season was adding offensive lineman Jared Veldheer. Veldheer, who played last season with the Oakland Raiders, is a veteran lineman who does an outstanding job protecting his quarterback. Arizona still has all-star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and all-star cornerback Patrick Patterson. With a record of 10-6 last season, the Arizona Cardinals hope their new and current players come together this year to make them a contender for this year’s Super Bowl.
Finishing last in the NFC West division with a record of 7-9, The St. Louis Rams may be the team that will finish last again next season. Sam Bradford, who was their first round pick in 2010, suffered from a torn ACL in pre-season, meaning he will miss the entire 2014-2015 season. The Rams drafted offensive lineman Greg Robinson with their first round pick this off-season. They also re-signed offensive lineman Rodger Saffold to ensure that the Rams offensive line will control the line of scrimmage and allow their already explosive running back Zac Stacy to continue his running game. Though the St. Louis Rams do not look like a strongly competitive team, if the Rams can get a solid quarterback to replace Bradford, they can shock the world and maybe squeeze into a slot as a wildcard for the NFC division.