Before every season, I look at what divisions face off when making my preseason predictions. Divisional strength can change by the year, but one common theme remained consistent over the last decade: The NFC West was bad.
Brooks: Niners getting ... offensive?
The four teams have combined to go 5-1 outside of the division this season. The only loss on the books was St. Louis' narrow Week 1 defeat in Detroit, a game the Rams led into the waning moments. NFC West teams have already beaten the favorites in the AFC and NFC on the road.
We've found the NFC's answer to the AFC North. Arizona, Seattle, and San Francisco all play a bruising brand of football. Jeff Fisher's squad should get there eventually.
Facing the NFC West out of division is no longer a gift from the scheduling gods. It may wind up being one of the best -- and most fascinating -- divisions in the league.