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nfl season preview

NFL Season Preview: NFC West

The NFL season begins in a week and a half, which is later than usual and still sooner than one realizes. We thought we'd take a look at each NFL division over the next fortnight, a scattershot glimpse that will be more updated than the magazine you grabbed before your flight but far less informative and helpful. Today: the NFC West!

NFC WEST

1. Arizona Cardinals. (Projected record: 9-7)
Most important player: Beanie Wells.
Top newcomer: Alan Faneca.
Person to root against: Matt Leinart.
Fictional organizational factoid: The team's home field, University of Phoenix Stadium, is named after the proud town that once bore its name, not a corrupt, for-profit hack "college" whose reason for existence is mainly to exploit government educational subsidies.
Celebrity fan: Jon Hamm.
Games against NY teams: None.

2. San Francisco 49ers. (Projected record: 8-8)
Most important player: Patrick Willis.
Top newcomer: Anthony Davis.
Person to root against: Nate Clements.
Fictional organizational factoid: The team name comes not from the year of the Gold Rush but, in fact, from the number of shady corporations Joe Montana does advertising for.
Celebrity fan: Huey Lewis.
Games against NY teams: None.

3. St. Louis Rams. (Projected record: 5-11)
Most important player: Steven Jackson.
Top newcomer: Sam Bradford.
Person to root against: Chris Long.
Fictional organizational factoid: If you stare too long at the side of a Rams helmet, you will go insane.
Celebrity fan: Nelly.
Games against NY teams: None.

4. Seattle Seahawks. (Projected record: 3-13)
Most important player: Justin Forsett.
Top newcomer: Russell Okung.
Person to root against: Pete Carroll.
Fictional organizational factoid: The team's name is not inspired by a bird. It actually was the name of owner Paul Allen's long-lost childhood sled, the "Sea-Hawk."
Celebrity fan: Sarah Palin.
Games against NY teams: Week 9, November 7, vs. Giants.

Related:
AFC North
AFC West
NFC North

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Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images , Ezra Shaw/Getty Images, Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images, Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images