Around the NFC West: West not dominant?


Around the NFC West: Aug. 16, 2013

Yes, the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks sat atop the NFC West last season.

Yes, oddsmakers have listed them among the Super Bowl favorites this season.

That doesn't mean the other teams in the West have to care.

Back in March, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher used the "they've gotta play us, too" line when asked about moves Seattle and San Francisco made this offseason. Now, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is questioning conventional wisdom about the division.

"I don’t see the dominance that everybody else talks about," Arians said. "One of those teams may be. It still has to be played on Sunday."

Arians is new to the division. His teams have posted a 100-44 record and won two Super Bowls over the past nine seasons, never finishing below .500 in any of those years. Arians has compared the NFC West to the AFC North, where he coached with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has used the word "difficult" to describe NFC West opponents. But he has not prepared a concession speech.

"I've always said if you win your home games and scratch out a few on the road, you are in the playoffs," Arians said earlier this offseason. "We have to be dominant in our stadium and then go out and play those guys on the road and see if we can win."

Arizona is a six-point underdog at St. Louis in Week 1.