1. Arizona Cardinals
(Last year: 13-3, first place)
Bruce Arians has turned this franchise into a force, although they got drilled 49-15 in the NFC Championship Game at Carolina. Carson Palmer, 36, has terrific targets on offense. Tyrann Mathieu’s return from an ACL and pass rusher Chandler Jones’ arrival from the Patriots should bolster the defense.
2. Seattle Seahawks
(Last year: 10-6, second place)
Starting 4-5 last season cast doubt about this NFC West power’s longevity. What will they be like now without Marshawn Lynch, Russell Okung, Bruce Irvin, Brandon Mebane, J.R. Sweezy and more?
(Last year: 5-11, fourth place)
4. Los Angeles Rams
(Last year: 7-9, third place)
Relocating brings challenges for a maligned franchise that’s undergone major roster moves. Cal’s Jared Goff becomes their long-term quarterback, but they’ve lost defensive stalwarts in Chris Long, James Laurinaitis and Janoris Jenkins. Jeff Fisher’s Rams record: 27-36-1.