|Tony Avelar / Associated Press|
1. San Francisco 49ers
The Niners were one of the most impressive teams I visited with this summer. The quarterback situation looks resolved, as Alex smith appears ready for the next step in his development. The 49ers were 5-1 in the division last year, finished 3-2 in their last five games and have looked strong all preseason.
The depth is good enough to weather some injuries; there are playmakers on the roster in Frank Gore, Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree; and coach Mike Singletary has imposed his philosophy. The rest of the NFC West is up in the air, and if the 49ers get their road record right from last year when they went 2-6, the division title and double-digit wins are there for the taking.