The Los Angeles Rams are the early favorite to win the NFC West in 2018. With the Seattle Seahawks dismantling their once-feared defense and the Arizona Cardinals kicking off a rebuild under first-year head coach Steve Wilks, the division very much looks like it could be a two-team race.

Don't tell that to Rams general manager Les Snead, who joined our friends over at the Talk of Fame Network podcast. He and his defending NFC West champion Rams aren't assuming anything when it comes to the often wild division.

"It's interesting, and I give (49ers') Jed York, their owner, (general manager) John Lynch, [head coach Kyle Shanahan] all the credit in the world," Snead said. "You can tell they're making a run. They're doing things the right way. They're being aggressive. They're trying to improve their team – and maybe quicker than a rival GM would like. So I give them all the kudos in the world and look forward to battling those guys.

"But I do want to say that the team that's the most north of us – Seattle – they still have that home-field, they still have Russell Wilson. So guess what? For us to truly become, if you want to call it 'The kings of the West,' and we want to do that. We want to repeat (as NFC West champions), and we want to do it consistently. You still have to go up there and take care of those guys.

"They're still going to be a good team and like anything, Arizona, I think, hired a really good head coach. They've got a good GM who knows what he's doing, and he's going to try to – let's call it – repair that thing sooner rather than later. I don't want to make it a two-team race just yet because we've definitely got some formidable foes."

The renewed rivalry between the 49ers and Rams is made even more intriguing by the head coaches leading each squad. Both Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay were hired last year as first-time head coaches by the 49ers and Rams, respectively. Both are young and considered to be among the best offensive minds in the game. The two even worked together with the Washington Redskins when McVay was an assistant coach under then-offensive coordinator Shanahan from 2010 through 2013. And both have ties to past 49ers teams with Kyle being the son of former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan and Sean being the grandson of former 49ers general manager John McVay.

The 49ers and Rams went 1-1 against each other last year with Los Angeles coming out on top 41-39 during a Week 3 contest at Levi's Stadium and San Francisco winning 34-13 during a Week 17 matchup at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The week after the loss to the 49ers, the Rams fell 26-13 to the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs.

While the game against the Falcons factored into how the Rams attacked this offseason, apparently, the regular season finale against 49ers did not.

"I always say we throw the Niners out because at the end of the day, we pretty much played with, you know, let's call it our second-team unit on the field," Snead said. "So that one's out the door."

You can listen to the entire interview with Snead below.