The Cardinals offense remains poised to pick up where they left off in 2008, with the only notable loss being running backs Edgerrin James and JJ Arrington. The Cardinals filled the void at running back by drafting Chris Beanie Wells in the first round with the hopes that he can improve their running game, which ranked 32 last year.
The passing game is still in tact with both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin returning to provide Kurt Warner with same viable targets that led to the Cardinals potent passing game in 2008. In addition, Steve Breaston gives them a strong back up or third receiver when the need arises.
The defense lost corner back Eric Green and defensive end Antonio Smith but gained cornerback Bryant McFadden, who has been making a name for himself in Cardinals camp in Flagstaff. The trio of Darnell Docket, Karlos Dansby, and Adrian Wilson provide the Cardinals with potent players at the line, linebacker, and secondary. Rookie standout cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie enters his second season looking to build on the progress he made in 2008 and become one of the better players at his position in the league.
If quarterback Matt Hasselbeck can stay healthy this season the Seahawks should show a marked improvement on last years 4-12 record and a passing game that ranked 29 in the league. Hasselbeck gets some much needed help with the addition of WR TJ Houshmandzadeh and a healthy Nate Burleson and Deion Branch. Running back Julius Jones will need to improve for the Seahawks to have a successful ground game.
The Seahawks defense got a boost with first round draft pick LB Aaron Curry. Curry will join current defensive stand outs Patrick Kerney and Lofa Tatupu as Seattle tries to improve on their 2008 ranking of thirtieth in yards per game allowed.
The 49ers offense enters the 2009 season with question marks. The starting quarterback job is up for grabs and it looks like former first overall draft pick Alex Smith may end up as the backup to Shaun Hill. Frank Gore has established himself as a dominant runner in the league, and if the 49ers offense is to have success it will be on his back.
2009 first round draft choice WR Michael Crabtree is threatening to sit out the season and reenter the draft in 2010, leaving the team thin at the receiver position, something that was an area of weakness last year. If tight end Vernon Davis can build on a disappointing 2008 season, where he had only 358 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, it will fill some of the need with the passing game.
The 49ers and coach Mike Singletary will certainly look to improve on a mediocre defense that ranked 23 in points per game. The team got corner back Dre Bly to add depth in the secondary and Demetric Evans to add strength to the line.
New coach Steve Spagnuolo looks to return the Rams to some form of respectability after a dismal 2-14 record in 2008. That will be no easy task with the loss of WR Torry Holt and offensive tackle Orlando Pace. Quarterback Marc Bulger’s options are limited as it appears the teams number one receiver will be Donnie Avery, so the team will be heavily reliant on RB Steven Jackson to have a big year.Prediction 3-13