Sometimes people surprise me.
Like Colin Cowherd going on the air on Thursday morning and picking the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West this season.
Jaw meet floor!
Almost everyone everywhere (except here in Seattle, of course), expects the San Francisco 49ers to repeat as the NFC West champions this year.
For most of the offseason, Cowherd was part of that “everyone everywhere.”
And then he wasn’t.
The change, for him, came down to how he looked at the divisions: last year’s most productive quarterback + a returning head coach = division winner.
But when you look at his predictions, it’s hard to argue against his approach.
Especially here in Seattle!
Here are Cowherd’s predictions for the eight division winners:
- AFC East: Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills
- AFC North: Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals
- AFC South: Trevor Lawrence’s Jacksonville Jaguars
- AFC West: Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs
- NFC East: Jalen Hurts’ Philadelphia Eagles
- NFC North: Jared Goff’s Detroit Lions (by a hair over Kurt Cousins’ Minnesota Vikings)
- NFC South: Derek Carr’s New Orleans Saints*
- NFC West: Geno Smith’s Seattle Seahawks
Note: Cowherd points out that Carr is the NFC South’s most productive QB from last season, even though that production was for another team in the other conference.
Here’s the tweet / segment that surprised me, with the relevant portions transcribed below that:
Starting at the 1:55 mark:
Then we go to the NFC West. This is my change. Geno Smith was the most productive quarterback (last year). Brock Purdy didn’t play enough games, Matt Stafford didn’t play a lot, and Kyler Murray didn’t. So this is my revelation. What am I doing here? Seattle had another good draft. The O-line was young, worn out at the end of last year, should be better. Their first four draft picks are viewed as As across the board, with 2 playmakers and a star corner.
Jumping ahead to the 3:48 mark:
I think I was overthinking Seattle, and I was overthinking the NFC West. Arizona is in a total rebuild. The Rams are in a semi-rebuild; there are some real weaknesses; J-Mac has pointed that out, most people have them at 6 wins. And San Francisco . . . Brock Purdy is not healthy; Trey Lance, drama; Sam Darnold’s looked better than both at practice and in their games. There’s too much noise! There’s just too much noise at quarterback, even though they have the best roster. So there is my revelation: most productive quarterback from last year, coaching continuity, Seattle is now IN (atop the) NFC West.
It’s not very often that I agree with Mr. Cowherd, but he’s right: Seattle is going to win the NFC West this year.