NFL California Teams Overview Opinion

It’s that time of the year again; hearing the thud of the pads, and the Sundays being filled with a phenomenon that brings families together and brings friends even closer: football season! Now as we look into the season and the teams looking to add their names to NFL history as Super Bowl champions, let’s examine California’s teams and my predictions for them this upcoming season.

Let’s start with the defending Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams. Coming off of a season where the Rams were loaded with weapons on both sides of the ball, it seems as if the Rams have gotten stronger while finding a couple of new additions. New names you can find wearing the navy blue and gold include former All-Pro Seattle Seahawks linebacker, Bobby Wagner. Wagner will help alleviate some of the concerns for the Rams when it comes to who would fill in the needed linebacker spots, as the Rams had the most trouble with defense. New to the offensive side of the ball is Wide Receiver Allen Robinson II who can help spread secondaries out as well as serve the role of playmaker when Kupp isn’t enough.

The concerns that have yet to be seen are how the new additions will play out for the Rams. Robinson, although a deep threat, is known to not stay healthy. Although Wagner rarely misses a tackle, he is only increasing in age, and Father Time eventually gets to everyone. My final concern for the Rams is how the offensive line will hold up without Andrew Whitworth. Whitworth was the anchor for that offensive line. With new linemen coming in, they will not be used to playing as a unit. Bringing down Stafford will become easier if the secondary does its job and Stafford struggles within the pocket.

As for predictions, the Rams will be in a fight for the top spot. I can see the Rams with the record of 10-7 at the minimum including losses to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos, and Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams will be a playoff team and should be able to make it to the divisional round or even into Super Bowl contention.

Another intriguing team in California is the Los Angeles Chargers. This is a team where the defense gains major upgrades to help out the most recently highest-paid Safety in the NFL, Derwin James Jr. and stud Defensive End Joey Bosa. The defense also carries former Chicago Bear and Las Vegas Raider, Khalil Mack, and former New England Patriot Cornerback J.C Jackson. Not to mention a huge help in the Tight End position as there was not a big name filling the spot until former Seattle Seahawk Gerald Everett.

The Los Angeles Chargers are in the very crowded AFC West, where it seems as if every team loaded up on weapons. Superstar Quarterback Justin Herbert is poised to have another great season as the Oregon product is coming off of a 5,000 passing yard season to go along with 38 touchdowns. Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler are going to be a big question as to how they will split their production, as two of these triplets for Los Angeles are a yard away on every play of making a b-line for the endzone. The defense has added star Khalil Mack on the defensive line, which will make this defensive front a hard one for offensive lines to stop. The defense also added the secondary gaining boosts via J.C Jackson, so offenses will have a hard time getting their receivers open.

The prediction here is going to be a little wild, however. A 9-8 season seems fitting as the Chargers are known to be a team to be in the middle of the pack. This should not surprise most and is a fair evaluation, especially after adding in those weapons mentioned in the previous paragraph. As for the playoffs, the Chargers had a play-in game last season to figure out who will go to the playoffs. The Chargers should expect the same thing this year. However, the difference will be that the Raiders will not line up against them on the other side of the ball. I see the Chargers making it into the wild-card round but not past it.

The final team can either be on the fringe of success or failure: the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are the team with the most questions for me: How many games will Trey Lance start? How will Deebo Samuel be used in the offense? Will the defense be what they were last year? Will Kyle Shanahan have to change the dynamic of the offense because of what Trey Lance possesses talent-wise? This team possesses more questions than answers for me.

This season is going to be very interesting for San Francisco with all of the new changes. However, there is one “insurance policy” the 49ers can rely on. While naming 2nd-year Quarterback Trey Lance as the starter, bringing back Jimmy Garroppolo makes the 49er Quarterback situation one of, if not the smartest, in the NFL. Garroppolo knows how the offense runs, works well with Shanahan, and has brought success to the franchise with two Super Bowl trips. The additions the 49ers added are minuscule, mainly through the draft with Running Back Tyrion Davis-Price, Cornerback Samuel Womack III who made a lot of noise during training camp this season, and Iowa State Quarterback Brock Purdy. Purdy was the very last pick, being dubbed “Mr. Irrelevant”, which is ironic considering his status with the team.

The 49ers are still leaving us with more questions than answers. If the team really brings it this season, there is no reason why the 49ers cannot go 13-4 with the losses coming from Denver, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Arizona. If the 49ers do not pan out they could easily tie the Rams and go 10-7, or even as low as 8-9. The 49ers should be a threat in the playoffs if they perform up to standards and can even become a threat to go to the Super Bowl. However, the team tends to crack under pressure deeper into the playoffs so an NFC Championship game rematch will not be shocking as well as the repeating result.