Extra Points
News and commentary from around the Web

Rob Weintraub's 2019 All-NFC West Team

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Nearly forty percent of every team's schedule is made up of division games. Every coach and player talks about the importance of winning games against division foes. Schemes and personnel are very often tailored to matching up with division opponents. Yet when it comes to naming the best players at season's end, we never classify them by division. Where are the All-Division teams? This has always mystified me. Colleges name All-Conference teams, why not do likewise for the professional ranks?

Well rest easy, I've done it for you. Today we cover the NFC West. Naturally, this being Football Outsiders, our stats are used to justify selections whenever necessary.

OFFENSE

QB: Russell Wilson, SEA

The MVP talk died down during a late-season slump, but Wilson was clearly the best passer in the division, finishing fourth in the league in DYAR.

RB: Chris Carson, SEA
RB: Raheem Mostert, SF

Mostert and Kenyan Drake were two of the league's most efficient backs, which stands to reason given not only their strong play but also how relatively sparingly they were used. Mostert had only 137 carries (151 fewer than Carson, for example), while Drake had just 123 carries with the Cardinals (and a mere 47 totes with the Dolphins before he was shipped west). Drake slightly out-DYAR'd Mostert overall, 196 to 189, while Mostert was the league's best in DVOA (Drake was third). In the end, Drake was only in the division for half a season, giving Mostert the nod.

WR: Tyler Lockett, SEA
WR: Cooper Kupp, LAR
WR: Deebo Samuel, SF
TE: George Kittle, SF

There was no way for Lockett to repeat his historic 66.3% DVOA from 2018, and he plummeted in our rankings…all the way to fourth in DYAR and seventh in DVOA. In other words, he is criminally underrated. The third wideout came down to semantics -- Sanders rated higher than his 49ers teammate Deebo Samuel, but of course he played six games in Denver before getting traded to the NFC West. In their games in red and gold, Samuel had 123 DYAR, Sanders 119, giving the rookie the slight nod in my mind.

OT: Mike McGlinchey, SF
OT: Andrew Whitworth, LAR
OG: Laken Tomlinson, SF
OG: J.R. Sweezy, ARI
C: A.Q. Shipley, ARI

Injuries played a key role in the NFC West lines, with Joe Staley's knocks keeping him off the team. It could be argued that the other Niners tackle, McGlinchey, also should be penalized for missing four games, with D.J. Humphries getting the nod over him. But Double-M was studly in the potent San Fran attack and his absence was keenly felt -- not to mention his team was excellent and the Cards, not so much. Still, the line play in the desert was far better than the 2018 disaster, with the "initials" duo of Sweezy and Shipley making the All-Div squad.

DEFENSE

DE: Nick Bosa, SF
DE: Chandler Jones, ARI
DT: Arik Armstead, SF
DT: Aaron Donald, LAR

Not only did the NFC West sport the best All-Div front four in the league, it is arguably the most potent of any all-star position group.

OLB: K.J. Wright, SEA
OLB: Fred Warner, SF
ILB: Cory Littleton, LAR
ILB: Bobby Wagner, SEA

The Seahawks combo of Wright and Wagner have been on the All-Div team seemingly since Jim Zorn was still the Seattle quarterback.

CB: Shaquill Griffin, SEA
CB: Richard Sherman, SF
Slot CB: Nickell Robey-Coleman, LAR
S: Budda Baker, ARI
S: Eric Weddle, LAR

Griffin beats out Jalen Ramsey, who didn't play a full season out west, while the Niners combo of Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward worked well together but neither stood out individually.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Zane Gonzalez, ARI
P: Mitch Wishnowsky, SF
RET: Richie James, SF

A surprisingly poor season from Greg Zuerlein opened the door for Gonzalez to edge Jason Myers of Seattle in a photo finish. Niners specialists cruised to the other spots.

Comments

There are no comments yet.