are enjoying our NFL. Previews, of course, on the NFL on NBC YouTube channel. We now get to the Super Bowl champion division, the LA Rams and the NFC West are up next for us Warren. This is going to be an interesting handicapped and I cannot wait to hear your takes on some of these teams because the NFC West is loaded again. Of course, having the Super Bowl champions doesn’t hurt you as far as a division goes. But Yours Cardinals made the playoffs last year. This is a pretty clear tier of three teams that I think all the market has reasonable expectations could win this division.
Rams are plus 125 right now to win the West Niners at + 1 9 D Cardinals. Looking at plus 325 and the Seattle Seahawks a distant fourth at 14. To 1. Let’s start with the Seahawks at the bottom here and it is clear to see why they are the fourth choice in this division considering that as As of this moment Geno Smith is beating out Drew lock for the quarterback position, which means in the year. 2022 Geno, Smith would be probably be the 32nd. Ranked quarterback, starting quarterback among all starters.
And if quarterback is the most important position in terms of making a power ranking, then it is entirely reasonable to see why the Seattle Seahawks win total is just five and a half if you want to bet over five and a half, you got to lay – 130. If you want to get under five and a half you got to lay plus you get you actually get 110 and it’s tempting to take and under position on this team considering what’s going on in the quarterback room but the Seahawks managed to find a way Pete. Carroll does tend to at least rallied the troops and you know get you know get his players to play for him and of course they do have a nice home field advantage up in the Pacific Northwest.
However I don’t really see many reasons beyond that. To be positive about the Seahawks team. Where are you feeling right now? Now I’m feeling that the quarterback is the most important position in NFL and you went from one of the best with an offense that threw the ball down the field 20 plus yards at the highest rate in terms of percentage of old, all their passes in the Seattle Seahawks last year and threw it down there.
Well, because they had Russell Wilson and he’s capable of doing those things and you made great decisions. Inside the Red Zone, typically to a team that now, as you mentioned is in a dogfight, this Camp between Drew Locke and Smith like I just feel like this team blew a massive opportunity to do something positive because their coach is stuck in the past. So I lean towards their under. I got it at a little bit of a better number. I would still probably lean in that direction but it was not one of the larger positions that I have this offseason simply because you never know what? Pete can get out of that orange when he squeezes it, and how much they can get. But this is not going to be a great. Team this season, by any means in there. Absolutely do for massive step backwards without Russ, in my opinion, this Cardinals team which was so underwhelming in their playoff win, last in their playoff lost last year.
Now is going to be asked to do it with less talent and you know some some pieces in place that we know don’t have. The goods is is your is there anything about this handicap that I’m missing in terms of the Cardinals? Not Repeating the success. We saw in 2021. Well I think there’s a couple things from my from being able to repeat that are absolutely not going to happen on the field. The first one that was the most glaring in my offseason research was the Arizona Cardinals converted 52 percent of their third and 7 plus situations passing the football 52%. Now, the NFL average is 31 percent where does 52% rake in the history books, the annals of NFL history, number one, the best. Best team in NFL history at converting these situations the prior year in 2020 know this isn’t just a kind of a Murray thing he was down in the mid twenty percent range so 52% they’re absolutely not going to come close to hitting 52 percent in 2020 to they’re not going to be converting as many of these third and long so they’ve got to stay out of these third and Longs for frequently. They’re going to be punting the ball a little bit more often. I don’t think that they’re short yardage Run game is also going to be as efficient next season, Rodney Hudson.
A big Improvement last season with his addition but this team is not going to be able to get as much on the ground in my opinion in short yardage this year.
And that’s why I do think. We’re going to see more pumps and more field goals from the Arizona Cardinals, this upcoming season. The other thing that we’ve seen along the way is that Kyler Murray he is short. He needs to run around more to make things happen for his offense and he puts a lot of miles on those legs and he ends up getting nicked up and banged up almost every single season doesn’t ensure only Miss games, he plays through these injuries often times whether it’s a shoulder or if it’s his legs or lower body. He needs to be less mobile and that just changes the offense entirely. It makes them far less efficient and it’s a big reason why they tend to tail off during the course of the season. And by the end of the season is teams not able to win games. Like they were to start the season when they’re winning games, is typically at the beginning of the Season, Kliff Kingsbury, every stop that he’s been and Kyla, Murray in the NFL, they win game.
Early, they lose games late. It’s a big problem for them this season because they play the number one. Most difficult schedule of any team in the NFL from week. Ten on words. That’s also the time when they’re going to have the under Hopkins back because he’s going to miss the first six games when the team is typically really good.
So he’s not there. You also lost Cristian Kirk as a wide receiver last year, he’s now down in Jacksonville. So you’re out your top. Two wide receivers are the last couple years. You’re replacing them with a much smaller Marquis Brown. I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Side of a guy like Zach, ertz doesn’t do nothing after the catch. And the first three weeks of the season is the most difficult schedule for any team in the NFL as well when they’re playing the Chiefs and the Raiders and the LA Rams. So they’re in a brutal schedule when they’re typically good but they’re playing without their DeAndre Hopkins, at that point, the probably win some games in that middle portion of the schedule week for onwards, but then they’re going to face, this fairly difficult schedule. Kyler could get beat up. They’re not going to be as good on third downs. And I just see a lot of aggression coming for this team. And so you know, we’re going to talk about our bets at the end under nine and a half was a bet I took earlier. It’s down to nine and there’s some eight and a half’s, mostly eight and a half’s out there. Now, I still would look at those nines and bet under nine. I just think yes, the Cardinals great and Kyler is a really good quarterback when he’s healthy.
But this wide receiving core is different and I just don’t have a lot of confidence in their upside to stay healthy and to win games when it counts against their brutal, schedule down the stretch, that all make sense and it Does spell regret about how much money was given out in terms of contracts? This offseason for the Cardinals, but their current win, total eight and a half even juice. Either side, I could only bet that under I don’t think realistically there’s a case that this team surprises to the good, but you never know the San Francisco 49ers are an entirely different handicap. Because in my opinion, at least this is the team with the widest range of outcomes of any team in the NFL.
I don’t think there’s any team that you can realistically Say has a ceiling in the in the teens in terms of wins but a floor in the you know six or seven win range that is an enormous range and it is entirely intended contingent upon the development of their Young quarterback Trail. An straight Lance is at a completely unknown quantity. He had virtually no, you know, opportunities to to learn the position as the qb1 when Jimmy G was responsible for things last year and they I have now dedicated the entire offense to him through this offseason cycle heading into 2022. And if he gives you, you know, your typical first year starter level of performance, this Niners team is going to underachieve, even though they have a roster that is one of the most talented in the NFL, particularly on the defensive side of the football. And you know, it’s tough to really see how this breaks either way, but I kind of want to be bullish on this Niners team just because the NFC overall, if Kind of gotten anything out of all these previews. We’ve done so far.
It’s just it’s a lot weaker than the AFC this year. Those are the facts. And so I feel like the Niners do have the potential to put together like, Lamar Jackson, and Baltimore and BP campaign type of season if Lance has the goods. But if he doesn’t, this is going to be a frustrating season for both Niners and Niners fans. Where do you fall on the spectrum of this team and and or is it best to just sit back and watch it play out and try to make some decision in season.
I don’t want to have to go that route. I would like to try to feel confident about a position on these guys. I do want to be more bullish on them than the market is, but I’m hoping that the market falls back a little bit.
I’m hoping that the continued reports out there are trillions is and looking good and we can get maybe some some better numbers. I do have a lot of confidence in cow, Shanahan more than anything. I think that he is going to be able to change this offense in. Unique manner to play a little bit more to the strength of this quarterback. We talked about, you know, the reason that they drafted him, he’s got the big arm. He could throw the ball down the field and the because he runs the ball, like he can. He commands extra player in the Box to help defend it. And Kyle talked a lot after they drafted him about what that does to the looks down the field and we know that Jimmy G was, like, one of the least accurate, quarterbacks throwing the ball down the field. So I think we’re going to see some higher upside of those explosive. Place from this team in 2022, but the concerning part is that bankable efficiency underneath that Jimmy G was able to deliver would probably aren’t going to get from Trey. Lance feel like I had my and forced a little bit, I made a couple of, you know, High payout, you know, up to the up side, bets on this team and I felt my hand was forced largely because they started the season at Chicago and versus Seattle.
You’ve watched these previews. Those are the two worst team.
The NFC outside of the Atlanta Falcons which means the Niners even with an uneven performance from Lance, should still be able to get out to a couple of wins.
But you know, the question is you know, even if Lance delivers a playoff berth via the wild card, I don’t believe him to be a quarterback that I’m going to bet on in those wild card games on the road. You know not not in his first year. So you know, this is still the Rams division to lose. The market again, is at plus 125 for them to win the west, and it is been a while since we’ve seen a team win, the Super Bowl and come into the next season. Effectively returning, everyone and have less Buzz.
There’s not really many people, kind of put planting their flag saying the Rams are going back.
You know the Rams going to Glendale this is the clear best team in the NFC. Despite the fact that they have the best defensive player in the NFL and Aaron Donald, they have at a clear And quarterback in Matt Stafford.
Maybe the best wide receiver in the NFL and Cooper cup and so it’s confusing to me why? There’s not a little bit more momentum.
That this team is going to be a Super Bowl Contender this year and I can only kind of put point to it’s still a pretty fragile situation with the way they built this roster, it was stars in Scrubs last year, they got lucky no one got hurt it stars in Scrubs this year and I think people are a little hesitant that It’s going to be quite as you know I guess Lucky in terms of player availability their win, total at ten and a half again. For all of the elite players blue-chip guys that are on this team is seems impossibly low.
Is there anything? I’m missing about the way the market perceives the ramps this year? No, I think the one just additional nugget to throw in there as to why the market may not be higher on them. Is we saw them narrowly beat jobber. All the buzz was on Joe burrow in that game, and then the prior game, They narrowly beat Jimmy G in the NFC Championship Jimmy’s playing. You know, with a lust 100% hand and then we saw Tom, Brady come back to Tampa Bay and I feel like if Tom retired and didn’t come back I think we would be buzzing more about the for about the Rams and Matthew Stafford. But with Tom coming back I think it definitely took a little bit of the buzz away from the LA Rams. Me, still very good team very well coached team. With a very good quarterback.
You know, last year, Matthew Stafford, he has some high highs with some of the throws in the arm talent that he’s got. But then there’s some question mark throws and some just question mark Clays, that they also mix in there a little bit as well.
They will be healthier at the running back position. I think they’ll be more efficient when they run the football so they won’t have to rely as much passing the ball down in the Red Zone. They’ll have a little bit more that we can get out of the Run game, in my opinion, which will help this offense in general.
Not a team that I’m looking to bet against I have not been on them yet, but I’m not looking to bet against them. You know, where as we talked about another Powerhouse in a different division preview, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I’m looking to try to bet other teams to get over top of Tampa and figure out other ways around Tampa. I’m not really trying to do that with the Rams because I agree with a lot of what you said and there and there and there are solid team that has a very good shot if they stay healthy, which the reality is, you can say that about every team and What is crazy about? The Rams has this is the healthiest team in the NFL since Sean McVeigh took over this squat.
Yes, Rams. Kind of proving that maybe injury avoidance is a skill.
I do, is that I don’t know. I mean if you’re going to invest in a good training staff, if you’re going to get kind of the best, you know, the best science can offer in terms of keeping your players healthy.
Then it’s not crazy to me. I mean, certainly there’s The the inverse I think might prove this like the teams that don’t invest wisely and their training rooms have had bad injury. Look, certainly, I wouldn’t put the Niners in that conversation but there’s some other teams that will remain nameless that I think would qualify.
But yeah, Rams right now, 11 to 12 in the Super Bowl. Is that a bet? It’s tough to say.
I feel like that if C is what the NFC looks wide open to me outside of the rims being the only kind of, you know, quote unquote. Sure thing to be in the next cell.
Either way, I think it’s going to be a fantastic season. I think the NFC Hoppers offers a lot of Betty opportunity. As we mentioned with some of the long shots, what is the the one bet that you think is worth putting your pocket in the NFC West? Yeah, I want to answer that question and say the Arizona Cardinals under their win total But I also want to add that this is the conference. The NFC that I have been looking to take some more of the longer shots in and stacking some things together. Like if you think Trey Lance has a shot then Lance MVP couple with Niners. Over a couple with Niners, to make the playoffs those types of things. Wrapping some of those up a little bit, doing the same type of thing for a team, like the Vikings or some of the other teams that you like in this conference that you think could have a shot. I’m because I am a little bit more down on the Tampa Bay.
Buccaneers have not done anything yet with the Rams to win the Super bowl of the Rams to win the NFC. But, you know, having spoken with you here today and recording some of these videos. Like it doesn’t seem like that’s the worst thing in the world to start looking into further. Yeah, I feel like it kind of let the market being a little cool on them influence my decision making about how I’ve approached their Futures more than I should have a decent chance in my mind that the first game. Of the season in the last game of the season are the same game.
That is Bill’s Rams, but we’ll save our predictions for when we wrap up the AFC, thank you, as always for joining us. Of course, you can find all of our content video content here NFL on NBC and be sure to check out our AF. See previews coming up next week.