Every year, I start these previews with the best of intentions. To talk some shit, have some fun, and preview the start of the football season. But by the time I hit the end every year, I want nothing more than to jump into a time machine and beat my own ass for thinking this is a good idea. The end is just me hoping i’m not reusing insults and puns and whatnot.
After this, i’m taking a few days off to not stare at my laptop. Then that will last about a day. Next week, i’m going to be bringing your my division picks, awards candidates, Super bowl pick, and what not. The week after that, i’ll drop my first Power Rankings, which is always going to be a little more sad when I don’t have Adam Gase to make fun of. Additionally, next week, over on Football Absurdity, i’m going to drop my first gambling article of the season, going over every team’s Super Bowl odds. After that, i’ll do a weekly column every Thursday over there an talk about my favorite bets of the gambling week.
That’s what you do when you truly, deeply hate something. You double down and do even more of it! Now let’s check otu the NFC West!
2020 Record: 12-4
Coach: Pete Carroll
Key Additions: Gabe Jackson, Gerald Everett
Key Losses: Jarran Reed, KJ Wright, Bruce Irvin, Shaq Griffin
I had to check and recheck that the Seahawks actually got 12 wins last season. There was absolutely no way it was true. Turns out, in spite of a spectacularly mediocre offense and the second worst pass defense in the NFL, they did, in fact, win a dozen games last season. How they did is some kind of ridiculous slight of hand trick. I’m not even bluffing when I say they had the second worst pass defense last year. Only the Falcons were worse (and oh lord, the Falcons were bad). Even defenses that everyone knew were ass, like the Jets and Raiders, weren’t quite as bad.
To make matters worse, their offense was ferociously mediocre. They were 12th in rushing yards, and 17th in passing yards. None of this sticks out as “Super Bowl contender.” But yet, of their four losses, three were to legitimately good teams. Only their loss to the Giants sticks out as a full on bullet wound. Of course, they also had a spectacularly easy schedule. Among their wins were against such jobbers as Atlanta, the Cowboys, the Patriots, the Vikings, the Eagles, and the Jets. Those six teams were roughly as competitive as a drunken kickball game.
The team lost several key members of the defense, and replaced them with….
Well, they couldn’t replace anyone. Their elevator to salary cap hell stops just about one level above the Saints. Oh, and they traded all of their draft picks. They had three total picks in the NFL draft and used them on some random wide receiver from some Michigan directional school who will be out of the league in a couple years, a cornerback with a wikipedia more bare than a local bartender on Onlyfans, and an offensive lineman whose name sounds like the name of the guy who does Backstage Casting Couch.
Russell Wilson loves being a Seahawk so much that he tried to get himself traded to the absolute center (of a black hole) of the football universe (if it was part of a multiverse, it would be the one where everyone is fat and smells like giardinara) Chicago.
Do They Have a Chance to Win the Super Bowl: They shouldn’t, but somehow they probably will.
Will They at Least be Entertaining: For the first month of the season, until noted conspiracy theorist and fella who is probably having the absolute time of his life with Covid vaccine misinformation, Pete Carroll, decides to spend the final 13 weeks of the season running the ball 45 times per game.
El Segundo Rams
2020 Record: 10-6
Coach: Sean McVay
Key Additions: Matt Stafford
Key Losses: Jared Goff, Michael Brockers, Gerald Everett, John Jackson
Perhaps no team single handedly upgraded their team quite like the Rams did this offseason. They jettisoned a bunch of draft picks so they could get rid of Jared Goff, who looks like he still collects Beanie Babies, for apple cheeked goon Matthew Stafford. Anyone that has followed fantasy football over the years knows that Stafford had a ton of value, but was playing in football Siberia for the past decade plus. Now he is being given weapons and a top defense to make a run for the playoffs, which might as well have been played in Narnia while he was a Lion.
The Rams are currently in a battle that nobody could possibly win, and even few people care about within that geographical region: to be the biggest team in Los Angeles. Of course, nobody cares about them in LA, because everyone entrenched in LA only cares about themselves, the latest trends in healthy sounding drinks (fuck bubble tea), and who to star fuck on Holywood’s A-list of that given day. The only team that would have won this battle was the Raiders, because their fans have nothing else to live for, but the Raiders got jettisoned to the desert, while the Rams and Chargers, who could be charitably seen as the 10th and 33rd most popular teams in that city, are getting their chance. It will be pretty thrilling when this team wins a dozen games this season and does so playing 17 road games they have no fans of their own. Imagine being Aaron Donald, a generational world ender on the defensive line, and knowing that any home playoff game will be half filled by fans of hte opposing team.
This team does have every chance to emerge from this division and make a deep run in the playoffs. Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee, Donald, and Jalen Ramsey are all poised for big seasons that could help this team to the Super Bowl. But there is one massive prolapsed anus on this team that needs to be dealt with, and that is their running back situation. They let Malcolm Brown leave in the offseason, content in believing that Cam Akers was ready to be the every down back. Well, Akers is out for the season already. Then they decided to turn to another person they used a high draft pick on in Darrell Henderson. Well, Henderson has been hurt twice already in the preseason, and will most likely step on an unexploded WW2 mine or something and miss half the season. To make up for this, they traded for Sony Michel from the Patriots. Most of you remember Michel from being a totally worthless lead balloon on the least consequential Patriots teams of the past two decades. After that is a murderer’s row of future XFL draft picks in Xavier Jones, Jake Funk, and Raymond Calais. Otis Anderson is listed on the depth chart, which is weird because I remember him playing in Super Bowl 25 for the Giants, which would make him approximately 55 years old.
Do They Have a Chance to Win the Super Bowl: If literally everyone stays healthy
Will They at Least be Entertaining: As horrifying as it is to say this about a Matt Stafford lead team, yes they will.
2020 Record: 8-8
Coach: Cliff Kingsbury
Key Additions: AJ Green, JJ Watt, Rodney Hudson
Key Losses: Haason Reddick
Every once in a while, a team tries to pull off the time machine team, assembling the best players of a half decade prior in the hopes that veteran leadership is the difference between them and the promised land. Of course, the team that does this is usually the Cardinals, and their promised land is still only Phoenix, which is essentially Indianapolis with more scorpions and meth. After spending decades thanking the football gods that the NFL isn’t a relegation league, Arizona finally caught a break by drafting a quarterback who would be good if he hadn’t been thrown in the drier on heavy duty and shrunk, and then doubled down on their luck by stealing DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans, who deserve to be shot out of a cannon towards the sun for making that trade.
How did they capitalize on this? By signing the best defensive player from 2015 in JJ Watt. Oh, and they signed the best wide receiver of 2015 in AJ Green. Over the past five seasons, each man has played in every game twice. During that time, they have combined to miss 61 games. Every year, half wit writers dust off the old trope of “This player is in the best shape of his life coming off injury” and apparently the only people that actually believe those articles are the Cardinals, who aren’t allowed to have nice things. Just old things. Old things that can’t get off a block anymore.
The Cardinals had every chance in the world to make the playoffs last year, but tripped over their dicks pretty ferociously, losing 5 of their final 7 games, and missing the playoffs on a tie breaker to a Bears team that didn’t deserve to play in the Alamo Bowl. For reasons I’ll never understand, they used a 2nd round draft pick to
bolster their defense have a 5th string wide receiver for when every geriatric ahead of him on the depth chart gets injured. They also used their first round pick on a linebacker out of Tulsa. This was the first time a player had been drafted in the first round from that college since 1977. Congrats on that piece of trivia, Zaven Collins. But you play for the NFL version of Tulsa now, ,and they are probably going to make you into another positionless defensive player, who runs around the field like football is nothing more than a big game of Red Rover.
This team has hot start, slow, painful fade after week 7 written over them, which is coincidentally exactly what happened to them last year. This was the team that would have saved us from having to watch the Bears eat shit in the playoffs. Their inability to beat Lions, Panthers, or Patriots last year should forever be a blood stain on this team’s history, which should be written on used toilet paper. This team will suck for eternity.
Do They Have a Chance to Win the Super Bowl: Yes, if the season was being played in 2016.
Will They at Least be Entertaining: Yes, if the season was being played in 2016.
San Francisco 49ers
2020 Record: 6-10
Coach: Kyle Shanahan
Key Additions: Alex Mack
Key Losses: Richard Sherman
I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like Trey Lance has the highest bust potential of all of the 2021 first round quarterbacks. He hasn’t played a consequential football game, ever. He comes from Bum Fuck University, where he didn’t even really play that much. You know how hard it is to be the biggest potential bust in a draft where the Jets drafted a quarterback ahead of you?
The defense should be good, and should be able to keep them in playoff contention all year, but this team, as proven last year, is completely dependent on having a good quarterback helming things to be able to make a run. Jimmy Garappolo gets injured so much, I can almost guarantee the Cardinals will sign him in a couple years. They still haven’t announced who they will be starting in week one, which should do wonders for their continuity and game planning. This entire fan base has to be staring at Justin Fields and Mac Jones and just flat out praying they both suck, otherwise they will never heard the end of it.
I’m sure this team’s running back depth chart will go into the season six deep, and you will literally never know which one will get the bulk of the carries every week. I just absolutely bet this team is praying that the Rams cut Otis Anderson so they can sign him, too. On behalf of fantasy teams everywhere, fuck off Kyle Shanahan. We hated your dad for this shit, too.
Do They Have a Chance to Win the Super Bowl: No. Who the hell is quarterbacking this hootenanny?
Will They at Least be Entertaining: If you like watching your fantasy team get ruined every week because you started the wrong 4th string running back for this team.