NFC West: MVP candidates on offense and defense for all teams

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers throws a pass Los Angeles Rams during the first quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers throws a pass Los Angeles Rams during the first quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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The NFC West is loaded with talent on both sides of the football. Here are the top MVP candidates on offense and defense for all four teams…

The NFC West is experiencing a changing of the guard after years of dominance by the Seattle Seahawks.

The Los Angeles Rams are coming off of a very impressive 11-5 season which included seven road victories, while the Seahawks appear to be a team on the downswing.

This is a division, however, that has strong quarterback play and a number of worthy NFL MVP candidates both offensively and defensively.

Let’s explore some of those candidates for each team…

San Francisco 49ers

Offense: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB

The obvious pick for the 49ers on offense to be an NFL MVP candidate or even offensive player of the year candidate is Jimmy Garoppolo.

Once Garoppolo was inserted into the starting lineup, the Niners didn’t lose a single game.

Garoppolo’s stats weren’t anything that blew people away, but he was getting the job done in short order with a brand new team, and now has had an entire offseason to master Kyle Shanahan’s system.

Garoppolo should be a major breakthrough candidate this season and is an MVP longshot for the 49ers.

Defense: Richard Sherman, CB

Though the 49ers have some younger defensive players probably more worthy of ‘MVP’ status, you have to take into account the emphasis that is placed on statistical production.

For that reason, it’s hard to see a player, even as good as DeForest Buckner, winning a defensive MVP crown unless he finds a way to put up double-digit sacks.

Even a guy like Reuben Foster might be a more solid pick, but he’s suspended two games and has been prone to injury.

If Sherman can stay healthy, he can still be a dominant cornerback and perhaps even a defensive MVP candidate for the 49ers.