With the Cardinals eliminated from the playoffs (and no significant coaching changes on the horizon any time soon), I thought it would be nice to shine a little of the spotlight on the rest of the NFC West. The news you read is courtesy several other blogs in the SB Nation network.
Football Outsiders' ranks Seattle 11th overall in defensive DVOA. But their drive stats rank Seattle 1st. Further, the Hawks are ranked 13th in offense and 6th net, ahead of every other NFC team other than Dallas. ... Before the very uncharacteristic Atlanta debacle, the Hawks D had allowed only 16.5 points per contest, second in the NFL and first in the NFC. Not trying to pin up anyone's sails, but it's worth noting.
It's interesting that Morgan (the blogger) noted this. Not too long ago I noticed how high the Seahawks ranked in drive statistics at Football Outsiders while researching an article for the Cardinals. The Seahawks are certainly underrated defensively and it's interesting to see how well they've done this season.
Here are some predictions for the Rams at #2:
Walterfootball.com - Jake Long - OT Michigan
NFL Draft Countdown - CHRIS Long - DE Virginia
Draftking.com - Jake Long - OT Michigan
Footballsfuture.com - CHRIS Long - De Virginia
This makes a lot of sense. The Rams need help on the offensive line as Orlando Pace's retirement looms on the horizon. And being able to acquire a player of Jake Long's talent would definitely be a step in the right direction.
Jim Hostler was canned (I'm sorry "let go"), Mike Nolan gets another year on the job (or at least a few games barring a big losing streak) and Scot McCloughan is the official general manager. Nothing too stunning. ... I'm not sure yet what kind of effect this will have on Mike Nolan's in-game management. We all recognize this is an area where he really needs to improve. The use of Madden was mentioned, and while it may have been somewhat of a joke, it's sad to think that this could help Nolan become a better game manager.
The Madden reference is just too funny. Mike Nolan had a rough season as the head coach of a franchise whose expectations may have been exaggerated by pundits. The Niners were expected to challenge the Seahawks for the division (and the NFC West was supposed to be a tight race packed with offensive prowess).
A disappointing season for fans, no doubt.