The NFC West is the best division in football.
Even if the San Francisco 49ers were half as a healthy as they were in 2020, winning the division was still going to be a challenge.
2021 will prove no different. The 49ers will be pressured to reach roughly 12 wins if they want to win the division. Not to mention that each team in the division will provide a unique hurdle to match up against. But which team in the NFC West is the biggest threat to the 49ers?
It is the Los Angeles Rams.
Sean McVay has been one of the best coaches since taking over as the head coach of the Rams. He did that with Jared Goff as his quarterback. Now he has Matthew Stafford who is a top-10 quarterback. All of a sudden, McVay can now have his genius fully optimized. Plays that he couldn't call with Goff will be utilized and plays where he schemed up beautifully will be executed more often with Stafford.
The defense of the Rams should still be relatively strong as well despite losing defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. I do not expect much of a drop off in that area as their young talent is promising along with two studs in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. If anything, the weakest point on the Rams is the offensive line, but when you have a quarterback such as Stafford who process quicker and get the ball out of his hands faster, it will make a worlds of a difference in the offense.
Yes, the 49ers have swept the Rams the past two seasons. But again, upgrading from Goff to Stafford is massive for them. Plenty of the miscues from the Rams facing the 49ers has been due to Goff. Just take the last matchup as the perfect example when Goff turned over the ball a handful of times.
The Rams are my favorite to win the NFC West and present the toughest matchup for the 49ers. Plus, McVay is sure to want to exact sweet revenge on the 49ers after being humiliated the past two years. Now he has the best chance with a quarterback that execute his offense.
Seattle is still a threat because it has Russell Wilson and a brilliant wide receiver group. However, their defense is not one worth mentioning. The 49ers should be able to put up points against them along with other teams they face. Arizona has a ton of talent and could arguably be the NFC West favorite, but they have a clown for a head coach. Last time I checked, clowns do not belong in the league.
Los Angeles is not a team to overlook just because of the past two seasons. They are sure to be the biggest uphill climb for the 49ers compared to the rest of the teams in the division.