Many football experts predicted that the NFC representative in the 2013-14 Super Bowl would come from the NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks were supposed to go head to head all season long and leave everyone else in the dust. But when the season actually got underway, things did not go as planned. The 49ers had problems winning games and the other teams in the NFC West refused to roll over and go away. There were a lot of things that we expected to see from the NFC West this season, but the reality is much different than what we thought.
2013 NFC West Projected Champion: San Francisco 49ers 11/10
Lesson #1: The Seahawks grew up fast.
The big question surrounding the Seattle Seahawks was whether or not the young team would be able to learn from its experiences last season. The Seahawks have proven to be consummate students of the game and have shown a level of maturity that most NFL teams do not possess. When faced with adversity, the Seahawks have been able to come out a winner in almost every occasion. The loss that Seattle suffered in week five to the Indianapolis Colts would devastate most teams. But fans are confident that the Seahawks will use that loss to become a better and more dangerous football team.
Lesson #2: The San Francisco 49ers are human.
Everyone likes to come down on the 49ers because they are not 5-0 and ruling the NFC West, but people have to remember that Anquan Boldin is the only healthy starting receiver that the San Francisco 49ers have right now. The San Francisco defense is still adjusting to the indefinite loss of Aldon Smith, who was a huge part of the team’s front seven. While the 49ers are definitely human, they are also showing the heart of a champion to rise above all of the problems they are having and to post a 3-2 record at this point in the season.
Lesson #3: The Arizona Cardinals never learn.
One of the lessons learned so far this season is that the Arizona Cardinals never learn. The team is 3-2 and nipping at the heels of the division-leading Seahawks. But this is the same position that the Cardinals were in at this point last season before the wheels came off. The Cardinals are not putting together a core of young players that will develop into a winner. Instead, Arizona continues to sign older players who, many football experts feel, are past their prime. These veteran players are always going to start out strong for Arizona, but they will fade as the season wears on. Until Arizona learns its lesson and starts building a younger team through the draft and free agency, it will always be like this for the Cardinals.
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