SB Nation’s FanPulse has been rebranded to SB Nation Reacts. It’s essentially the same thing but with a different name, but the format currently in use should allow for a wider variety of polling questions to be asked. Optimism is at an all-time high for fans once the schedule is released. Everyone is confident it’s their team’s year, and the playoffs are a lock. We ignore the variables like injuries and other issues that come true every NFL season that always leave your prediction from May a few wins short. Let’s look at each NFC West fans prediction for their team, starting with the good guys.
If you predicted the 49ers winning 15 or 16 games, you are a brave soul. There’s always the Week 15 games against Atlanta, where something goes wrong. To the select few that chose between 6-8 wins, why? I’m genuinely curious. I do agree that you can’t control which way the ball bounces, and the difference between 10-6 and 6-10 is a handful of plays, but 13-3 to 7-9 or 8-8? That’s a significant drop-off. My guess is either 12 or 13 wins.
Onto the bad guys:
For a good time, check out Field Gulls’ front page. “Chris Simms sucks,” is the title of one article as Simms picked someone besides Russell Wilson as the best deep-ball thrower in the NFL. How dare he! You may find a Geno Smith article, but other than that, it’s about the cornerback who just turned himself into the police and free agents possibly replacing him. Wilson is good enough to lead Seattle to a winning record, but, eventually, your team has to pick up some of the slack. I don’t know how the Seahawks surpass 11 wins this year.
Now, the media darling:
Kyler Murray will be a superstar, but he’s not there yet. Adding DeAndre Hopkins should rightfully add optimism, but over a third of Cardinals, fans think that team is winning 11-13 games? My goodness. If Arizona can find a way to get to nine wins, Kliff Kingsbury will be in the running for Coach of the Year. I’d guess 8-8 for Arizona. Winning 11-13 is laughable, 9-10 is still pretty homer-ish.
And now, the team that hates first-round picks:
The Rams we saw in Week 16 were the Rams many expected to see all season. I thought they were a playoff team, but they’ve lost key players and are clawing to get out of all their cap issues. There’s a shot at each NFC West team having a winning record, but unless their rookie class exceeds expectations, the Rams winning nine games again will be difficult. Sean McVay has his work cut out for him.