Can the Seahawks become the first team to reach three consecutive Super Bowls? The decline of their biggest rivals, the San Francisco 49ers helps their chances.
The Seahawks became the first team to win back to back 2K OLF Super Bowls and are still loaded with talent. QB Russell Wilson (89 OVR) and HB Marshawn Lynch (96 OVR) will welcome new TE Jimmy Graham (95 OVR). The #3 WR spot may go to Super Bowl standout Chris Matthews (74 OVR). There are some questions on the offensive line, as C Lemuel Jeanpierre (72 OVR) must replace Pro Bowl Center Max Unger.
New addition CB Cary Williams (82 OVR) will start opposite CB Richard Sherman (97 OVR). The excellent safeties return with FS Earl Thomas III (95 OVR) and SS Kam Chancellor (94 OVR).
Despite having a less than stellar season with a record of 6-10, the Arizona Cardinals are coming into the season looking strong. If QB Carson Palmer (83 OVR) is healthy, Arizona could be back to their season 3 form when they finished with a record of 9-7, second in the division. WRs Larry Fitzgerald (87 OVR) and Michael Floyd (83) are a standout receiving duo, and new LG Mike Iupati (88 OVR) joins LT Jared Veldheer (90 OVR) to form a dominant left side of Arizona’s offensive line.
In the secondary, CB Patrick Peterson (89 OVR), FS Tyrann Mathieu (83 OVR), and SS Deone Bucannon (77 OVR) continue to play well. Excellent LE Calais Campbell (95 OVR) is the defensive line star, but Arizona may miss the departed Darnell Dockett.
The 49ers weathered a storm of change in the offseason, but they retained a few quality players to continue onward. The play of QB Colin Kaepernick (81 OVR) will determine whether or not San Francisco remains a contender in the NFC West. The Niners let veteran Frank Gore go in free agency, but have an impressive replacement in HB Carlos Hyde (77 OVR). New addition Torrey Smith (86 OVR) joins Anquan Boldin (88 OVR) as the WR starters, and TE Vernon Davis (84 OVR) returns.
MLB NaVorro Bowman (93 OVR), SS Antoine Bethea (91 OVR), and ROLB Aldon Smith (89 OVR) are the lynchpins of a defense that lost standouts Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, and Chris Borland to retirement. Youngster Aaron Lynch (79 OVR) will probably get the start over Ahmad Brooks (80 OVR) at LOLB.
The Rams may not make the playoffs in a crowded NFC West, but they will be a tough out. The arrival of QB Nick Foles (78 OVR) is an intriguing storyline, and he’ll quickly become acquainted with TE Jared Cook (84 OVR) and WR Kenny Britt (82 OVR). The Rams have a pair of capable running backs in rookie Todd Gurley (80 OVR) and Tre Mason (79 OVR).
The defensive line is the strength of this team, starting with RE Robert Quinn (94 OVR) and Defensive Rookie of the Year Aaron Donald (92 OVR). DT Nick Fairley (86 OVR) is a quality new addition. William Hayes (86 OVR) and Chris Long (84 OVR) will alternate at LE.