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Where does the NFC West rank in regards to the most competitive NFL division?

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Are the 49ers a boom-or-bust team heading into 2019?

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com ranked all eight divisions in the NFL based on which division was the most competitive. These rankings will always create discussion. Rosenthal prefaced the rankings with his criteria:

One way to evaluate which NFL division is the best: How many teams can you realistically imagine playing in Super Bowl LIV in Miami next February?

In the NFC North, it doesn’t take many mental gymnastics to picture the Bears, Vikings or Packers making it to the title game. That’s one reason why they take over the top spot in my annual, highly scientific look at which division is the best.

The Chicago Bears defense was amazing last year. They also have a wizard calling plays on offense in Matt Nagy. The Bears ceiling is capped until Mitch Trubisky proves otherwise. So yes, I can easily see the Bears getting bounced in the Wild Card round once again. Especially if the offense goes 5-16 on third downs, and 0-3 in the red zone.

Enough ranting. Onto the rankings:

1) NFC North: Bears, Vikings, Packers, Lions

2) AFC North: Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Bengals

3) NFC South: Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Buccaneers

4) NFC West: Rams, Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals

The Rams have won 24 regular-season games in two years under Sean McVay and there’s little reason to think they’ll suddenly crumble. The Seahawks have been the best NFC team of the decade under Pete Carroll and last season’s playoff appearance showed the coach’s resourcefulness. The Cardinals have a chance to be the worst team in the NFC, but this division’s ranking was helped by the 49ers’ ceiling. Perhaps no team in the NFL has a bigger boom-or-bust potential. Twelve wins or 10 losses would not be a surprise, but anything close to the former projection would give this division three dangerous teams.

5) AFC South: Texans, Colts, Titans, Jaguars

6) AFC West: Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Raiders

7) NFC East: Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, Giants

8) AFC East: Patriots, Dolphins, Bills, Jets

I’d swap the AFC North with the AFC South. NFC East fans sent Rosenthal emails about these rankings in the middle of the night. The truth is the perception of that division doesn’t line up with the actual talent.

How accurate is the 49ers blurb? Ten losses would be a surprise. If San Francisco wins six games this season, we can expect some changes coming in the front office. Calling the Niners a “boom-or-bust” team might not be far off.

We’ve talked about the various outcomes for the 49ers this season. Those outcomes aren’t just limited to the team. There’s plenty of variances involved with the players on the roster as well. That’s what makes the Niners intriguing. It’s the unknown.