When talk turns to the NFC West, most people pick either the 49ers or the Seahawks to win the division.
It’s not hard to understand why. The 49ers were the NFC champs last season and the Seahawks started being talked about as a potential champion this year about five minutes after last season came to an end. There are two other teams in the division, however, and the coach of one of them isn’t prepared to cede anything to the perceived big dogs in his backyard.
“I don’t see the dominance that everybody else talks about,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, via Darren Urban of the team’s website. “One of those teams may be [dominant]. It still has to be played on Sunday.”
You wouldn’t expect to hear anything else from the coach of a team that will play four games against those two teams this season, especially when the coach is in his first year on the job with a team that needs to put an end to their losing ways. Arians acknowledged how physical and difficult it will be to play the NFC West teams this year, including the Rams, but he isn’t going to say that those obstacles make it okay for the Cardinals to roll over and play dead.
And he’s right because as good as the 49ers and Seahawks look on paper, they also have suffered injuries that will hurt them and the coming season will bring unknown twists and turns that get in the way of any thought of inevitability.