"The 2010 NFC West could break the record for ‘fewest wins by a four-team division' (22 wins, previously held by the 2008 NFC West) and ‘lowest average wins per division team in NFL history' (5.5, also held by the NFC West). How pathetic would that be? Breaking your own record of historic incompetence?" - Bill Simmons
While I understand that the Sports Guy is a polarizing figure, the sentiment was not his alone. The words were a general reflection of the feelings the football-watching public held at the onset of the season.
This is nothing new.
"The Cardinals are the worst playoff team in history."
Remember that one? How did that work out for you, Collinsworth?
Point is, the NFC West has been (justifiably) trampled-on for years. When the 2010-2011 season was approaching, all that could be heard from broadcasters and analysts was that it might be the worst division in NFL history.
The Cardinals replaced their hall-of-fame quarterback with Derek Anderson, the Rams were returning a 1-15 team and starting a rookie quarterback, the 49ers still had the Singletary/Alex Smith combo, and the Seahawks were doing whatever it is that they do. At the time, the criticism made some sense.
Though, as implausible as it sounds, it might be time to start re-thinking that notion. Six weeks into the season, the NFC West is better than anybody could have anticipated (except for the 49ers). With quality wins over New Orleans, San Diego (x 2), Chicago, and Washington, the division that was the punching bag of the league throughout the past year seems to have grown a pair.
While it is still extremely early in the season, it definitely has been enjoyable to see all three of these competitive teams come out every week with an us-against-the-world mentality and prove the doubters wrong.
Though, it would be nice if the Seahawks and Rams didn't win another game for the rest of the season. Just sayin'.