2016 Seahawks Opponents, NFC West
The St Louis Rams are now the Los Angeles Rams, and the Rams are not the only team the better for it. Going forward, the Seahawks will play one fewer ten AM game per year, and they will have to cross the country one fewer time per year. The Rams have sacrificed a small but significant advantage by moving to Pacific standard time. The same issues with the Rams persist, however. Their quarterback situation is an once again an array of bodies, one put in just as soon as the other is removed. Recently, the Rams decided to swing for the fences. They’ve traded two first round picks, two second-round picks, and two third-round picks. If that deal sounds familiar, it probably takes you back to the RG III trade; but, for those of us with some gray in our bread, we probably remember Mike Ditka trading his entire draft to get tailback Ricky Williams. When you look at what made the Seahawks successful, particularly the 2012 draft, it was in the middle rounds, where undervalued players could be picked up with less competition and attention than a first round player generates. Still, if the Seahawks are the Patriots of the NFC West, then the Rams are the Dolphins. They just keep finding a way to sneak in victories. To get the one seed, the Seahawks cannot be swept like they were in 2015.
1-1 is essential. Since the QB situation looks to be the worst its been in a while, and that’s saying a lot, the Seahawks are primed to reestablish their dominance in this rivalry.
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) April 14, 2016
Post his Jake Delhomme-esque conference championship meltdown, Carson Palmer will enter this season with some serious psychological ghosts. No doubt, in a QB starved league, the Arizona Cardinals can do no better than Palmer, but can Palmer do them any better? For all the regular season accolades last year, it was hard to believe that a 36-year-old Palmer had suddenly discovered ice in his veins. The league had more parody last year than usual, where even the 2-4 Seahawks had a shot at the playoffs and did make it. Arizona was one of many teams that jumped to an early lead, but what if the Seahawks make it interesting? If Palmer can’t coast the regular season away and gets in a heated competition to get the one-seed or even the West, who is to say that in week 15 , 16, 17, he won’t lay an egg? The words damaged goods are hard ones to say, but until Palmer proves he can win in big moments, then it’s safe to conclude that he can’t, and the window of opportunity for him continues to fade (quickly).
Also losing a cross-country 10AM game, but gaining an in-state rival, is the San Francisco 49ers. After a short one-year reboot, the 49ers are rebooting yet again. If there is any team that more personifies how much a team can change, it’s the 49ers. Once a top franchise in the league, overrun with talent and leadership, the team is scarcely recognizable. As it appears increasingly likely that a deal will eventually be cut for Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers will be jettisoning a quarterback who took them to one play from winning a Super Bowl. The cool thing to do is dump on Kaepernick, but he does have some serious NFL accomplishments. If he did it once, why can’t he do it again? Why take a chance on the Blaine Gabberts of the world, who’ve never shown any ability to get to the Super Bowl? It’s hard to see the 49ers as anything but bottom feeders in 2016. Short of scoring a big draft, the 49ers are two years and a quarterback away from being competitive.