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NFC WEST: Offensive Comparisons

We've had a lot of talk lately about our new tools on offense and how we should be much better this year, but I haven't seen much focus on our division rivals. I thought it'd be nice to compare their additions and 2012 projected offensive lineups with ours to see how each compare. Some teams are getting key players back from injury that will definitely help them, in addition to draft picks, FAs, etc. -- so I expect the NFC West to be quite a bit better than last year overall. With all the picks the Rams had, it'd be a travesty if they couldn't at least win 6 games.

Anyways, less talk, more comparing. Here are my early projected 49ers and other NFC West team lineups for this coming season:


San Francisco 49ers
QB - Alex Smith
RB - Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Brandon Jacobs
FB - Bruce Miller
TE - Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Nate Byham
WR - Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, AJ Jenkins, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams
LT - Joe Staley
LG - Mike Iupati
C - Jonathan Goodwin
RG - Daniel Kilgore
RT - Anthony Davis


Arizona Cardinals
QB - Kevin Kolb
RB - Ryan Williams, Beanie Wells, Alphonso Smith, LaRod Stephens-Howling
FB - Anthony Sherman
TE - Todd Heap, Rob Housler, Jeff King
WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, DeMarco Sampson, Stephen Williams
LT - Levi Brown
LG - Daryn College
C - Lyle Sendlein
RG - Adam Snyder
RT - Bobby Massie


St. Louis Rams
QB - Sam Bradford
RB - Steven Jackson, Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson
FB - Brit Miller
TE - Lance Kendricks, Mike Hoomanawanui, DeAngelo Peterson
WR - Brian Quick, Danny Amendola, Greg Salas, Chris Givens, Austin Pettis, Brandon Gibson, Steve Smith
LT - Roger Saffold
LG - Rokevious Watkins
C - Scott Wells
RG - Harvey Dahl
RT - Jason Smith


Seattle Seahawks
QB - Matt Flynn
RB - Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Leon Washington, Tyrell Sutton
FB - Michael Robinson
TE - Zach Miller, Cameron Morrah, Anthony McCoy
WR - Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Ricardo Lockette, Kris Durham, Ben Obamanu
LT - Russell Okung
LG - James Carpenter
C - Max Unger
RG - Paul McQuistan
RT - Breno Giacomini

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Best Offense: 49ERS.

Maybe it's just the homer in me, but I think the 49ers easily have the best offense in the NFC West. They have the best QB, and the best OL (although that one isn't saying much, since the opposing OLs have been horrendous). The only toss-ups positionally may be at running back and receiver with Arizona, depending on how Ryan Williams recovers from his injury and what Moss and Floyd do for their teams, respectively. The areas the Niners have bolstered to add explosiveness at receiver and running back and now with an actual off-season to work with I think makes the 49ers the most dangerous offense in the West, especially if they find their long-term solution at RG out of the current competition between Kilgore, Boone, Looney, and Person.


Team with the most question marks: SEAHAWKS.

As rough as the Rams were, Seattle has the most potential to epically fail if their players continue to struggle with injuries. At QB, Flynn is a huge unknown, considering he has never been a starting QB before. And the players behind him, Wilson and Jackson, wouldn't figure to be able to do much this year if Flynn falters. At receiver, they have talent and depth, but if Rice and Baldwin get hurt again.. it'll be hard to see the offense doing a lot. They may be OK, but a lot remains to be seen with this team. Players returning from injury may not be the same, and others who have been healthy need to stay that way for the Seahawks to compete. I think their solid D gives them a chance to win some games, but I think they have a good shot to end up 3rd in the division again, or even last place.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on May 12, 2012 at 5:59 PM ]
Great post and I totally agree.

Our defense shocked the world last year. Next year it's the offense's turn.
Offebsivly we are better at everything except cardinals at WR
Dunno as a run offense Seattle is pretty damn tough. Big line, badass rb and a bruising fb to boot. out of all the division the team that worries me the most is seattle because theyre the only ones that can actually run in any fashion on us. if they can force us to drop a safety in the box with Baldwin, Rice they might be able to move the ball down the field in a hurry.

rams and cards well shut their run game down quick , flood the back with DBs and just pick off the passes as they come along.

in terms of balance our offense is tops in the division.
Originally posted by ruthless49er:
Dunno as a run offense Seattle is pretty damn tough. Big line, badass rb and a bruising fb to boot. out of all the division the team that worries me the most is seattle because theyre the only ones that can actually run in any fashion on us. if they can force us to drop a safety in the box with Baldwin, Rice they might be able to move the ball down the field in a hurry.

rams and cards well shut their run game down quick , flood the back with DBs and just pick off the passes as they come along.

in terms of balance our offense is tops in the division.
Seattle's rushing game is decent with Marshawn, but it seems like everyone thinks that he ran all over us in the 2nd game last year, when all he did was run 6 yards after a blocked punt recovery against a defense without Patrick Willis. The thing that worries me them most about Seattle is their secondary, which is very tough to pass on. Arizona's deep game is much more dangerous than Seattle or St. Louis. But I think we'll lock it down better this year. They should just go to the tape to see how to play Fitzgerald the way Clements and Spencer did the past 2-3 years when he never had any big games.
Originally posted by Psinex:
Seattle's rushing game is decent with Marshawn, but it seems like everyone thinks that he ran all over us in the 2nd game last year, when all he did was run 6 yards after a blocked punt recovery against a defense without Patrick Willis. The thing that worries me them most about Seattle is their secondary, which is very tough to pass on. Arizona's deep game is much more dangerous than Seattle or St. Louis. But I think we'll lock it down better this year. They should just go to the tape to see how to play Fitzgerald the way Clements and Spencer did the past 2-3 years when he never had any big games.

this is why we picked up all the speed at wr. those big dbs except for earl thomas won't b able to keep pace with all the quick moves our wrs make let alone our fast TEs. we will be difficult to defend then we will be running vs 7 man fronts or less because u have to keep up with our wrs and TEs or u will get beat for big chunks of yardage. i think we can b unstoppable to defend if we can protect our qb and if he can get rid of the ball in a timely fashion
I agree that our offense is now the best in the division. Harbaugh/Roman are the best playcallers in the division, and now they have the most talent.

The team with the biggest question mark to me is the Rams. Bradford needs to bounce back. The OL needs to step up big time, especially the tackles Saffold and Smith. They are counting on very young pass-catchers to produce. Only guy you know will produce is S-Jax, and he's got a lot of wear on those tires.
Originally posted by Psinex:
Originally posted by ruthless49er:
Dunno as a run offense Seattle is pretty damn tough. Big line, badass rb and a bruising fb to boot. out of all the division the team that worries me the most is seattle because theyre the only ones that can actually run in any fashion on us. if they can force us to drop a safety in the box with Baldwin, Rice they might be able to move the ball down the field in a hurry.

rams and cards well shut their run game down quick , flood the back with DBs and just pick off the passes as they come along.

in terms of balance our offense is tops in the division.
Seattle's rushing game is decent with Marshawn, but it seems like everyone thinks that he ran all over us in the 2nd game last year, when all he did was run 6 yards after a blocked punt recovery against a defense without Patrick Willis. The thing that worries me them most about Seattle is their secondary, which is very tough to pass on. Arizona's deep game is much more dangerous than Seattle or St. Louis. But I think we'll lock it down better this year. They should just go to the tape to see how to play Fitzgerald the way Clements and Spencer did the past 2-3 years when he never had any big games.

Lynch also had over 100 yards and a 5.1 average.
Seattle is the second team in the division on offense at least. Better OL, RB, TE, and QB than the others. Id take Flynn and even Jackson over Kolb. Bradford needs to have a very good year or he could start entering the "bust" talk.
Every team in the NFC West has its own question marks.

- Alex Smith and the 49ers are very good about playing positional football, but they haven't proven to consistently score in the redzones and convert third downs. I'd say we're the most disciplined offense, but we have to prove we can be explosive (I think we will).

- The Cardinals have the most firepower with Larry Fitzgerald and Malcolm Floyd, and a decent QB in Kolb. However, that offensive line, which is what makes any offense go, limits them.

- The Seahawks, IMO, have the best running game and are super tough. However, I think their passing offense is just as mediocre as ours, and possibly even worse. Matt Flynn fits the mold, but this is all based on one good game against Detroit last season.

- The Rams, have a great RB in Steven Jackson, but he's getting old. They don't have any proven receivers. I think Sam Bradford is the most talented QB in the NFC West, but I don't think he quite has the weapons he needs to succeed.

In a sense, I'd say the Cardinals are very much boom or bust. The Seahawks and 49ers are in a similar boat, but I think we're a little better. Coupled with the fact that our defense and special teams give us short fields, the 49ers offense has that advantage. The Rams have a lot of holes.

I'd say Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks, and then Rams in that order. I think the 49ers made the most significant improvements this offseason though, and very likely could be the best in the division.
Originally posted by AXEGRINDER:
Great post and I totally agree.

Our defense shocked the world last year. Next year it's the offense's turn.

This would be awesome!
Originally posted by ruthless49er:
Dunno as a run offense Seattle is pretty damn tough. Big line, badass rb and a bruising fb to boot. out of all the division the team that worries me the most is seattle because theyre the only ones that can actually run in any fashion on us. if they can force us to drop a safety in the box with Baldwin, Rice they might be able to move the ball down the field in a hurry.

rams and cards well shut their run game down quick , flood the back with DBs and just pick off the passes as they come along.

in terms of balance our offense is tops in the division.


Was with you until you mentioned "buising fb" and don't see that, but their young line may be very good in a year or two--if they can stay healthy. Can't see any of these teams really stepping up this year because the 9ers have retained their D and added to their O, while the other teams are trying to find identity...new QB, new coaches, etc.
I feel like we could abuse the right side of the Cardinals O-Line.
When the NFL changes the rules so our offense lines up against their offense, I'll find these comparisons relavent. As it stands, our D trumphs all offense in our division. Sure Lynch ran for a 100 yards and a TD against us last year, but I dont even think Willis was playing or if he was he just came back from injury.

With that said, we have some serious defenses in our division. Seattle and Arizonas D is nothing to laugh at and they are probably going to get even better. The good news is, they are built to stop Frank Gore and a pure power run O. This is where a RB like LMJ and our fast WRs could change the game in our division.

I still think we are the best team, but I'm not sold it will be a cake walk.
[ Edited by Oakland-Niner on May 13, 2012 at 7:56 AM ]
I'll admit I'm not fully sold on Alex Smith, having a DECENT season after 7 years in the league including that big game against the Saints. Yes he's had some uphill battles throughout his career. I want to see a more fired up Alex Smith, that doesn't doubt himself. He made some believers last season, maybe this season he will make us all believers. There is new firepower on the offense, I hope Alex can utilize them. One goal and one goal in mind, that 6th super bowl championship.
will be interesting how ryan williams is coming back from this severe injury, with wells they could have a nice runnig game opening up more for fitz and floyd. however, their Oline is still a huge question although addig some nice players in round 3 and 4 in the draft.
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