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Improving porous defenses a priority in NFC West

In order to be more competitive in 2003, NFC West teams will have to make drastic improvements on defense.

Updated: May 22, 2003, 4:52 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

One of just two divisions that featured fewer than two teams with winning records in 2002, the NFC West nonetheless includes three franchises that should be viable playoff contenders this season, but only if they reduce their collective largesse.

Just one division, the NFC North, permitted more aggregate scoring in 2002 than did the NFC West, whose four teams surrendered an average of 376.5 points. Three of the teams finished in the bottom third in points allowed and the San Francisco 49ers ...

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