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NFC West On The Up-&-Up?

NFL.com's Around the League gang -- Gregg Rosenthal, Dan Hanzus, Marc Sessler and Brian McIntyre -- recently took time to create rankings for the best divisions in football (no easy task when you actually sit down to try it), and not surprisingly, the NFC West did not emerge on top. However, the NFL.com bloggers did give the Seahawks' division their due respect, noting, "Despite its consistently low ranking, the NFC West has made strides. The gap between, say, the NFC East and NFC West has closed dramatically. The NFC West would have been dead last, often by a wide margin, for much of the past decade. It's a division on the rise with the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals all possessing good defenses."

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This is something that's been emerging the past couple of seasons and is exciting for fans of the respective four teams. They mention the 49ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals above as having good defenses, but even the Rams, largely out of the discussion still at this point, have the makings of something special under new HC Jeff Fischer. In terms of a comparable division in the NFL, I could see the NFC West eventually start to look like the AFC North, with Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cincinnati duking it out every season with solid defenses and smashmouth offenses. It's still early, of course, but I'm looking forward to the day when the NFC West has a similar 'tough' reputation.