NFL 2021 Preseason Division Power Rankings and Betting Review

NFL 2021 Preseason Division Power Rankings and Betting Review

NFC West Overview

Division Power Ranking: 1


The NFC West sits atop the division power rankings entering 2021 due to the division’s unrivaled depth. Injuries derailed the San Francisco 49ers in 2020, but the roster remains talented and now features two options at quarterback. The other three teams finished .500 or better in 2020.

An argument could be made for each team as a favorite, but the addition of quarterback Matthew Stafford to a Rams team that features one of the league’s better defenses should make Los Angeles quite formidable. Stafford possesses special arm talent and processes the game at an extremely high level. With significantly more support than he ever had in Detroit, he has the perfect opportunity to show he is more than a “numbers” quarterback. The off-season injury to running back Cam Akers, who showed superstar potential down the stretch in 2020, will make the spotlight on Stafford even brighter in his first year with Sean McVay.

The 49ers have won a lot of games with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, but the prospect of dual-threat rookie Trey Lance stepping into a Kyle Shannahan-run offense will have opposing defensive coordinators sweating. The defense, now coordinated by DeMeco Ryans after Robert Saleh took the head coaching job with the Jets, will need some players to emerge to return to the elite standard set in their 2019 NFC Championship season, but if the group is healthy, they will be tough to play against.

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Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.