The NFC West could be one of the league’s tougher divisions in 2019, making the San Francisco 49ers’ listing in NFL power rankings before free agency a bit interesting.
The San Francisco 49ers ended up finishing third in the NFC West last year despite going 4-12 and dealing with a swarm of injuries and hard luck. Thankfully, if one hopes to look at it in such a way, the lowly and rebuilding Arizona Cardinals ended up being a three-win team in 2018.
A year ago, when Niner Noise dished out season’s end NFL power rankings for the division, the Cardinals were ranked dead last and the Niners were ranked second behind the eventual division-winning Los Angeles Rams.
The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, ranked third in our NFL power rankings. Despite a tumultuous 2018 offseason, the Hawks managed to finish with a 10-6 record en route to the playoffs, looking nothing like a falling-apart squad many predicted them to be.
But will that be the case heading into 2019?
For these divisional NFL power rankings in the NFC West, we’ll take into account the various contexts and situations each team faces heading into this offseason. This includes pending free agents, NFL Draft needs and positioning, rising or falling players and a number of other factors and X-factors.
As a result, there will actually be some shake-ups. This isn’t just based on how teams finished last year. If that was the case, these NFC West NFL power rankings would look identical to how the division panned out in terms of wins and losses.
Instead, let’s power rank the context itself heading into the offseason.