Sports Out West

Are the Seahawks the favorites in the NFC West?

Entering the 2013-14 NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers have been viewed by most as the favorite in the NFC West. While their appearance in the Super Bowl last season definitely gives them some authority coming into the season, the Seattle Seahawks are right behind their tail as the top team in the division and potentially the best team in the entire conference. With two great teams atop the NFC West, are the Seahawks the real favorites in the division or are the 49ers still the top dog for now?

The 49ers have made a lot of noteworthy additions this season through free agency and in the draft: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin, defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, defensive end Cornellius Carradine, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, safety Eric Reid and kicker Phil Dawson. That being said, they’ve also experienced many losses as well. From the losses of safety Dashon Goldson, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga and tight end Delanie Walker to free agency to the unfortunate injuries to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, cornerback Chris Culliver and others, these roster changes may open the door for the Seahawks in the NFC West.

Before proclaiming Seattle as the king of the NFC West, it’s important to look at their struggles and challenges as well. While Crabtree’s out for the 49ers to start the season, Percy Harvin will also miss the beginning of the year recovering from a slightly torn labrum. Both of these injuries are on par with one another and are big holes in each teams’ offenses.

Other injuries and suspensions are also plaguing the Seahawks. From Chris Clemons’ knee surgery to Bruce Irvin’s four-game suspension to start the season, Seattle’s pass rush, a feared aspect of their game last season, will be compromised and could greatly impact their defense’s overall effectiveness.

When looking at the pros and cons of both teams, it is too early to say whether the Seahawks are more of a favorite in the NFC West over the 49ers. Both are facing similar challenges and it will likely come down to each team’s replacements to determine which team reigns supreme at the end of the regular season.

Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP

Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.
NFC West

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Austin Chang

Austin Chang is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and RamsTalk. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.