Post NFL Season Review of NFC West, 2022-23

Post NFL Season Review of NFC West, 2022-23
Sat 18th February 2023

After a thrilling season, the NFL is officially over for another year. So, the team at SportsTips thought it would be a good idea to go through every team in the NFC West, and have a look at the year that was!

Arizona Cardinals

The 2022 Arizona Cardinals stumbled to a 3-6 record to start the season and then lost their final seven games to finish in the basement of the division with a 4-13 record. The Cardinals suffered a late-season collapse for the third straight year, equaling a franchise record of 13 losses in a season.

The Cardinals cleaned house on Black Monday and fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim. Arizona hired Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as its new head coach. Arizona enters the offseason with $20.3 million in salary cap space, the 12th-most in the NFL.

Quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 2,368 yards and 14 touchdowns before tearing his ACL in Week 14. James Conner was the leading rusher with 782 yards and seven scores on 183 carries. Both wideouts DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown enjoyed productive campaigns despite missing a combined 13 games. Hopkins caught 64 passes for 717 yards, while Brown tallied 709 receiving yards on 67 receptions.

Safeties Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson led the team with 111 and 109 tackles, respectively. Defensive end J.J. Watt posted a team-high 12.5 sacks in his final NFL season, and cornerback Marco Wilson led the Cardinals with three interceptions.

Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams opened the 2022 season with a 3-3 card before dropping six games in a row and finishing third in the division with a 5-12 record. The Rams suffered the most losses by a defending Super Bowl champion and ended the season with the third-most players on injured reserve. 

Los Angeles is $15.02M over the 2023 salary cap and has five players with a cap hit of $20M or more. The Rams hired former New York Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur to coordinate its offense, which needs quarterback Matthew Stafford to return healthy after a spinal cord contusion ended his season prematurely. Defensive end Leonard Floyd hasn’t missed a game in three years but is a potential cut candidate with a $22M cap hit next season.

Stafford threw for 2,087 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games, while Baker Mayfield started the final five games and tallied 850 passing yards and four scores. Cam Akers rushed for a team-high 786 yards and seven touchdowns on 188 carries, and Cooper Kupp was the top pass catcher with 75 receptions for 812 yards and six scores despite suffering a season-ending high ankle sprain in Week 10. 

Veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner paced the team with 140 tackles, six sacks, and two interceptions. Floyd posted a team-high nine sacks along with 54 pressures, 33 hurries, and 12 hits. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey led the Rams with four picks and 18 passes defended.

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers started the 2022 season with an underwhelming 3-4 record before putting together a 10-game winning streak to capture the NFC West for the first time since 2019 with a 13-4 record. The 49ers ousted the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys from the playoffs but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

The 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was named the new head coach of the Houston Texans and was replaced by former Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks. San Francisco has significant question marks at quarterbacks with former first-round pick Trey Lance, veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, and Brock Purdy. Notable free agents include Garoppolo, tackle Mike McGlinchey, defensive end Samson Ebukam, and safeties Jimmie Ward and Tashaun Gipson.

Garoppolo threw for 2,437 yards and 16 touchdowns after taking over for Lance, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2. However, the veteran signal-caller is not a candidate to be re-signed. Purdy threw for 1,374 yards and 13 scores after starting the final five regular season games when Garoppolo went down with an injury. Christian McCaffrey led the team in rushing with 746 yards and six touchdowns on 159 carries, and Brandon Aiyuk enjoyed a breakout campaign with 78 catches for 1,015 yards and eight scores.

Linebackers Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw were the top tacklers, with 130 and 127 tackles, respectively. NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa led the league with 18.5 sacks, while Gipson paced the team with five interceptions.

Seattle Seahawks

The 2022 Seattle Seahawks season was an up-and-down affair, with a four-game winning streak sandwiched between a myriad of losses. The Seahawks regrouped to win their final two games to finish second in the division and earn a playoff berth with a 9-8 record. However, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Seahawks in the Wild Card Round. 

Seattle has the fifth-most salary cap space in the NFL and is $49.4 million under the cap. But Seattle has a long list of free agents, including quarterback Geno Smith, running back Rashaad Penny, and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. Potential salary cap casualties include safety Quandre Diggs, defensive tackle Shelby Harris, and guard Gabe Jackson.

Smith threw for 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns while leading the league with a 69.8 completion percentage. Rookie running back Kenneth Walker III tallied 1,050 yards and nine scores on 228 carries, while Penny gained 346 yards before going down with a season-ending broken fibula in Week 5. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett both enjoyed monster seasons. Metcalf posted a team-high 90 catches for 1,048 and six touchdowns, and Lockett caught 84 passes for 1,033 yards and a team-high nine scoring receptions.

Former first-round pick Jordyn Brooks ranked sixth in the league with 161 tackles, and linebacker Cody Barton added 133 tackles, two sacks, and a pair of interceptions. Uchenna Nwosu and Darrell Taylor collected 9.5 sacks each, and cornerback Tariq Woolen picked off a team-high six passes.

Even though the season has finished, we’ve got you covered with all the latest information on the NFL! We keep you as up to date as possible, so you don’t miss any of the action this off-season.

Marvin is a self-confessed sports fanatic who is addicted to the NFL, MLB and CFB. He has a passion for Daily Fantasy Sports and absolutely loves gambling and making money on his favorite sports. He has been an avid Dallas Cowboys fan since the 1970s and has been writing about sports for more than three decades. Whether he is making prop bets or choosing which teams will cover spreads, he is thrilled to provide relevant information for all of our readers.