Dec 23, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) passes the ball while against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated San Francisco 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Updated NFC West Power Rankings

Well, things sure change quickly in the NFL. After two years of dominating the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers, after reaching the NFC Championship game and then the Super Bowl in back-to-back years, might not enter the 2013 season as the favorites… to win the Super Bowl? Nope. To win the NFC Championship? Nope. They might not even be the favorites in the NFC West.

After two critical free agent additions, the Seattle Seahawks are considered by many to be the best team in the NFC West, and therefore the best team in the NFC.

Hogwash, here are my power rankings for the NFC West:

1 – San Francisco 49ers: This is the team that beat the Atlanta Falcons at home in the playoffs, something Seattle couldn’t do last year. This team also beat Green Bay in Green Bay, where Seattle needed a favorable call to squeak out a win at home (one of the most difficult road venues in the NFL).

People often point to Seattle’s demolishing of the 49ers late in the season as the reason Seattle should be the #1 team in the division. Meh. Anybody who watches football knows that teams scoring a major emotional victory on the road on a short week frequently stumble the next week, especially if that 2nd game is on the road. Like, say, going into Foxboro and beating Brady in December on a Sunday night and then going to Seattle for a (nearly) meaningless game.

Along with a favorable schedule, the 49ers have the better QB, better overall run game, better pass catching corps, and a relatively equal defense, and are thus my pick to win the NFC West. 13-3

2 – Seattle: Is all resting on Russell Wilson? Would you trade Wilson for Kaepernick, straight up? Me either. Which of the two quarterbacks is more likely to have a regression in their second year? Kaepernick looked like a man among boys, Wilson looked like Jeff Garcia, Doug Flutie, and even Shaun Hill. Short, scrappy, a total gamer, but can he maintain that?

More questions at the QB position than the 49ers causes me to put them 2nd in the division. They also have a much tougher road schedule (at Atlanta, Houston, New York Giants). 10-6

3 – St. Louis: Now that Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola are gone, Jeff Fisher is in for a challenge. This might be the year Fisher rebuilds and puts his stamp on a team he inherited. He might be the best coach in the division, and it showed as his game plans led to a win and a tie against the 49ers in 2012. For that reason, I have them 3rd in the division. 8-8

4 – Arizona: If they can figure out the quarterback position and add an average running back there are pieces here. The defense is well regarded; Larry Fitzgerald is still a top-flight wide receiver, and a new coaching regime to help turn things around. Is Drew Stanton that QB? Probably not, so Arizona is easily the 4th team in the NFC West. 4-12

Tags: Arizona Cardinals NFC West San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams

  • Bored

    Homer Review. Stick with 49rs fan mail and leave the serious sports articles to professionals

  • Marcus Johnson

    Well…I’ll never get that five minutes of my life back. I was expecting a non-partial opinion on this, but saying the 49ers clearly have a better running game and a better QB than Seattle is laughable. Seattle had the NFLs 2nd leading rusher and only opened their read-option part of their offense halfway through the season in Chicago.

    Oh…and SF has “better pass catching corps” is probably the worst of your opinions.. You’d really rather have Crabtree, 35 year old Boldin,, injured Manningham, injured Williams, zero catch AJ Jenkins, and already in his 9th year Vernon Davis over Harvin, Rice, Tate (combined 20 TDs last year and Harvin missed 7games), Baldwin, and Zach Miller….all of whom are under the age of 26.

    SF may very well win the division and be the best team in the NFC, but this was obviously a biased piece that did nothing but make the writer look pretty much like an uneducated homer. Good try though.

    • Matthew Hall

      I was going to post a comment, but it would have pretty much ben a carbin copy of this. Couldn’t agree more.

  • [email protected]

    This dimwit seems like he came out of a SF Catalog promoting SF values. I read all of your article, I guffawed at most of it, Russel Wilson made fools out of his competition, the Seahawks are a younger team, they are fundamentally more awesome than the 39ers. SF will be the ass end of a flurry of jokes next season…mark my words.

  • ChrisPridham

    49er Homer who does not have the capacity for objectivity.

  • Matthew Hall

    Would I rely on Russel Wilson? Of course I would, he has better decision making, and most of all is better when the game is on the line. If Colin were as good as Wilson during crunch time they would have been Superbowl champs. But instead he did Wilson has never done, even as a rookie….CHOKE!

  • Michael Domezio

    I appreciate your comments.

    What is it about the Seahawks that makes you believe they can win the NFC West?

    @dporrass: Kaep made as much a fool out out of his competition as Wilson did, and is a greater physical specimen. Wilson is a bigger injury risk (although Kaep means more to SF than Wilson to Seattle).

    @Marcus: Lynch is the best RB in the division, but the 49er running attack is better with Gore, Hunter, James, and Kaep. If Lynch goes down, Seattle run game tanks. Zach Miller? C’mon. Harvin is brittle, enjoy his eight games played.

  • wrecked’em

    Thanks Michael, now we’re all dumber for having read that. I”m going to go argue with my dog to start climbing back up the ladder of intelligence……

    • WC

      Awesome! That may be the best post I’ve ever read. Well, except for my own of course.