Three questions every NFC West group should reply earlier than the 2022 season: Rams’ quest to repeat, 49ers’ QB adjustments

The NFC West is trying a bit totally different this season, with the most important change being quarterback Russell Wilson leaving the Seattle Seahawks and heading to the Denver Broncos. That is additionally the division of the defending Tremendous Bowl champions, however can they repeat?

Final season, two groups from this division made the playoffs, with two vastly totally different outcomes. As said, the Rams went on to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and the Arizona Cardinals suffered a blowout loss to the Rams.

The 49ers could have a brand new quarterback main the best way and uncertainties about the place Jimmy Garoppolo will land are nonetheless lingering.

With coaching camp developing and the season shortly approaching, there are nonetheless many questions on the NFC West. Let’s dive into a couple of of the unknowns of the division.

1. Will they make it again to the Tremendous Bowl? One of many greatest questions for the Rams is whether or not they can repeat as champions, one thing that does not occur typically within the NFL. There is no such thing as a purpose the group shouldn’t be in a position to be in the identical place as final 12 months, bringing again key gamers and signing different stars. Whereas the Rams ought to be capable of at the very least make it to the massive sport, no group has repeated as Tremendous Bowl champions because the New England Patriots did it within the 2003-2004 seasons.

2. What’s going to occur with Odell Beckham Jr.? OBJ is a free agent coming off the Tremendous Bowl win with the group. Beckham suffered an damage throughout the Tremendous Bowl that required ACL surgical procedure, which has held up the free company course of. Final month, it was reported that he won’t be able to report for Week 1 and will likely be absolutely in a position to play starting in October. As of now, the group’s COO Kevin Demoff stated he’s optimistic {that a} deal might be finished with the 29-year-old. Extensive receiver Cooper Kupp has pushed for Beckham to return to the group.

3. How a lot will the protection miss Von Miller and Darious Williams? Whereas the group didn’t lose many items throughout the offseason, they are going to be with out LB Von Miller, who’s now with the Buffalo Payments and CB Darious Williams. Miller, a future Corridor of Famer, was a veteran who was good for the group each on the sector production-wise and off the sector as a pacesetter. Williams was the No. 2 cornerback behind Jalen Ramsey and his absence means one other CB might want to step up.

1. Will Kyler Murray ship on big-money expectations? The QB lastly bought the massive deal he’d been craving this week, however now the query is whether or not he is ready, each individually and because of his setup, to show he is well worth the profitable deal. Staying wholesome by way of a whole season can be one step ahead. Elevating, relatively than sinking with, the group late within the 12 months is one other checkbox to fill. It doesn’t matter what, the strain is on No. 1 to emerge as a authentic franchise chief.

2. How will the offense fare with out DeAndre Hopkins to start out the season? Hopkins was suspended for violating the league’s coverage on the usage of performance-enhancing medication and will likely be out for the primary six video games of the common season. Kyler Murray depends closely on Hopkins and with a troublesome begin to the schedule, the offense might battle with out him. The Cardinals’ first six video games embrace matchups in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, away vs. the Las Vegas Raiders and in opposition to the defending Tremendous Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Final time the group was with out Hopkins, which was on account of damage, it went 3-4. Gamers like Marquise Brown, Zach Ertz and James Conner might want to step up in Hopkins’ absence.

3. Will they turn out to be a 3rd group in a row to play a house Tremendous Bowl? OK, this one appears unlikely, however there are at all times surprises within the NFL. No group had ever performed in a house Tremendous Bowl till the 2020 season, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted at Raymond James Stadium. They ended up successful the massive sport, making historical past. Actually that was a rarity, however in 2021 the Los Angeles Rams did the identical factor, successful at SoFi Stadium. It doesn’t seem to be Murray will lead a group to the Tremendous Bowl, however the odds could possibly be worse. In line with Caesar’s Sportsbook, they’re +3500 to win the Tremendous Bowl and +1500 to win the NFC.

1. The place will Jimmy Garoppolo find yourself? Quarterback Jimmy G is likely one of the greatest questions for the group and which metropolis he will likely be suiting up in subsequent 12 months. Many believed he would already be on one other group by now, together with head coach Kyle Shanahan, who stated he expects him to be traded, however is aware of nothing is a assure. This month, the 49ers gave Garoppolo to hunt a commerce. Groups are reportedly not curious about signing the 30-year-old till his shoulder damage is absolutely healed. The Cleveland Browns had been one of many groups that appeared like they might be within the operating for Garoppolo, with quarterback Deshaun Watson more likely to be suspended, however they aren’t anticipated to pursue a commerce and are signing veteran Josh Rosen as insurance coverage. The 49ers report back to coaching camp quickly and Jimmy G is cleared to play, in line with ESPN.

2. Will Deebo Samuel stay with the 49ers? Extensive receiver Deebo Samuel demanded a commerce from the group and has but to rescind the request. He’s clearly not proud of the group and the problems reportedly stem from what his position with the offense was. It appeared like a commerce would happen, however Samuel continues to be at present in San Fran. Samuel didn’t attend OTAs, however was at necessary minicamp. Samuel is aiming to be one of many highest-paid receivers within the league.

3. How will Trey Lance look in his second 12 months? Until one thing actually surprisingly takes place, Trey Lance would be the 49ers beginning quarterback. Lance performed in two video games final season when Garoppolo was injured and went 1-1 within the two begins. His first begin in his NFL profession was a loss to the Cardinals, the place he accomplished 15 of 29 passes for 192 yards and threw an interception on the group’s opening drive. He additionally rushed for 89 yards. His second begin, in opposition to the Houston Texans, went quite a bit higher, with 249 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception within the 23-7 Week 17 win.

1. What’s going to the group do with out Russell Wilson? The elephant within the Seahawks room is that their veteran quarterback Russell Wilson has moved on to play for the Denver Broncos. Wilson has been with the group since 2012 and his absence leaves the group with quarterback questions for the primary time in virtually a decade. Seattle has Drew Lock, Geno Smith and Jacob Eason, none of whom are apparent stars or solutions to their issues on offense. There’ll little question be rising pains with out Wilson and this can be a time of rebuilding for the Seahawks.

2. Will DK Metcalf receives a commission? Extensive receiver DK Metcalf and the Seahawks are attempting to work out a contract extension, though nothing has been finalized but. Metcalf is now one of many faces of the franchise and needs to receives a commission like one. Each side seem to be they wish to get a deal finished and head coach Pete Carroll has expressed that he desires the WR to “be right here.” Carroll additionally stated that Metcalf desires to be with the group and that it’ll take time, however they’ll determine it out. Metcalf has additionally stated he desires to be in Seattle for the subsequent couple of years.

3. How will the operating again room form out? The group doesn’t have essentially the most strong of quarterbacks, so the operating sport will possible be highlighted to assist make out for a QB with out as sturdy of an arm as Wilson had. The group re-signed Rashaad Penny, which Carroll referred to as “one of many highlights of the offseason.” Chris Carson has been the starter, however an damage leaves questions on when he will likely be at full capability. The group took Kenneth Walker III within the second spherical of the draft and have DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer as nicely.

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