NFC West

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NFC West
Conference National Football Conference
League National Football League
Sport American Football
Founded 1967 (as the NFL Western Conference Coastal Division)
No. of teams
Most recent champion(s) (7th title)
Most titles (19 titles)

The NFC West is a division of the National Football League's National Football Conference. It currently has four members: Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks.

The division was formed in 1967 as the National Football League Coastal Division, keeping with the theme of having all of the league's divisions starting with the letter "C." The division was so named because its teams were fairly close to the coasts of the United States, although they were on opposite coasts, making for long travel between division rivals. The NFL Coastal Division had four members: Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Colts, Los Angeles Rams, and San Francisco 49ers. Los Angeles and San Francisco occupied the West Coast, while Baltimore and Atlanta occupied the East Coast.

After the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970, the division was renamed the NFC West. The Baltimore Colts moved to the AFC East and were replaced by the New Orleans Saints. In 1976, the newly formed Seattle Seahawks spent one season in this division before moving to the AFC West. Except for that one year, the division remained the same until 1995 with the addition of the new Carolina Panthers team. And even though the Rams moved to St. Louis that same year, they remained in this division (despite the Dallas Cowboys of the NFC East being located further west), leaving just one team on the West Coast.

The 2002 re-alignment changed the entire look of the NFC West. The Falcons, Panthers, and Saints moved into the NFC South, while the Cardinals and Seahawks moved in. The Rams remained in the West, preserving the historical rivalry with the 49ers that has existed since 1950, and thus are currently the only team in the division that is located east of the Rocky Mountains (the Rams had played in Los Angeles from 1946–1994, thus contributing to the rivalry with the 49ers).

In 2010, the NFC West became the first division in NFL history to have a champion with a losing record, after the 2010 Seattle Seahawks won the division title with a record of 7-9. They were joined in this distinction in 2014 by the Carolina Panthers, who won the NFC South with a record of 7-8-1.

At the conclusion of the 2014 NFL regular season, the 49ers led the division with a record of 553-439-16 (100-107-1 since re-alignment) with five Super Bowl titles and an overall playoff record of 31-21. The Rams hold a record of 533-533-21 (76-131-1 since re-alignment) with three Super Bowl appearances and one win to go with a 19-24 overall playoff record. The Cardinals hold an 91-117 record since joining the NFC West (522-721-39 overall) and a loss in Super Bowl XLIII with a 6-8 playoff record, 4-3 as a member of the NFC West. The Seahawks hold a record of 117-91 since joining the NFC West (305-307 overall), with three Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XLVIII to go with a playoff record of 14-12; they are 11-7 in the playoffs as a member of the NFC West, having gone 3-5 while in the AFC West. Since re-alignment, the Seahawks have led the division in wins, division titles, and playoff appearances.

Division lineups[edit]

Place cursor over year for division champ or Super Bowl team.

NFL Western Conference
Coastal Division
NFC West Division[B]
1900s 2000s
67[A] 68 69 70[B] 71 72 73 74 75 76[C] 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95[D] 96 97 98 99 00 01
Atlanta Falcons
Los Angeles Rams St. Louis Rams
Baltimore Colts New Orleans Saints
San Francisco 49ers
  Seattle
Seahawks
  Carolina Panthers
NFC West Division[E]
2000s
02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks
St. Louis Rams
     Team not in division      Division Won Super Bowl      Division Won NFC Championship      Division Won NFL Championship, Lost Super Bowl III
A The Western Conference was divided into the Coastal and Central divisions. Atlanta moved in from the Eastern Conference. Also joining the Coastal Division were Baltimore, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
B The Coastal Division is renamed the National Football Conference West division (or NFC West for short), due to the AFL-NFL Merger. Baltimore moved to the AFC East division. New Orleans moved in from Capitol Division (now the NFC East)
C Seattle was enfranchised in 1976. Moved to the AFC West in 1977.
D In 1995, Carolina is enfranchised and the Rams move to St. Louis
E For the 2002 season, the league realigns to have 8 four-team divisions. Seattle returns to the NFC West. Arizona joins the West. Atlanta, Carolina, and New Orleans moved to the new NFC South.

Division champions[edit]

Season Team Record Playoff Results
NFL Coastal
1967 Los Angeles Rams 11-1-2 Lost NFL Conference Playoffs
1968 Baltimore Colts 13-1-0 Won NFL Conference and Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl III
1969 Los Angeles Rams 11-3-0 Lost NFL Conference Playoffs
NFC West
1970 San Francisco 49ers 10-3-1 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1971 San Francisco 49ers 9-5-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1972 San Francisco 49ers 8-5-1 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1973 Los Angeles Rams 12-2-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1974 Los Angeles Rams 10-4-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game0
1975 Los Angeles Rams 12-2-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1976 Los Angeles Rams 10-3-1 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1977 Los Angeles Rams 10-4-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1978 Los Angeles Rams 12-4-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1979 Los Angeles Rams 9-7-0 Won Divisional and NFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XIV0
1980 Atlanta Falcons 12-4-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1981 San Francisco 49ers 13-3-0 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XVI
1982* Atlanta Falcons 5-4-0 Lost NFC First Round
1983 San Francisco 49ers 10-6-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1984 San Francisco 49ers 15-1-0 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XIX
1985 Los Angeles Rams 11-5-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1986 San Francisco 49ers 10-5-1 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1987 San Francisco 49ers 13-2-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1988 San Francisco 49ers 10-6-0 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XXIII
1989 San Francisco 49ers 14-2-0 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XXIV
1990 San Francisco 49ers 14-2-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1991 New Orleans Saints 11-5-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1992 San Francisco 49ers 14-2-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1993 San Francisco 49ers 10-6-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1994 San Francisco 49ers 13-3-0 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XXIX
1995 San Francisco 49ers 11-5-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1996 Carolina Panthers 12-4-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1997 San Francisco 49ers 13-3-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1998 Atlanta Falcons 14-2-0 Lost Super Bowl XXXIII
1999 St. Louis Rams 13-3-0 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XXXIV
2000 New Orleans Saints 10-6-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2001 St. Louis Rams 14-2-0 Won Divisional and NFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XXXVI

Following 2001, the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and New Orleans Saints left the NFC West to join the newly formed NFC South. The Arizona Cardinals joined the NFC West from the NFC East, and the Seattle Seahawks joined from the AFC West to combine with the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams to create the new NFC West.

Season Team Record Playoff Results
NFC West
2002 San Francisco 49ers 10-6-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2003 St. Louis Rams 12-4-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2004 Seattle Seahawks 9-7-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
2005 Seattle Seahawks 13-3-0 Won Divisional and NFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XL
2006 Seattle Seahawks 9-7-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2007 Seattle Seahawks 10-6-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2008 Arizona Cardinals 9-7-0 Won Wild Card, Divisional and NFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XLIII0
2009 Arizona Cardinals 10-6-0 Won Wild Card Game, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2010 Seattle Seahawks 7-9-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2011 San Francisco 49ers 13-3-0 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
2012 San Francisco 49ers 11-4-1 Won Divisional and NFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XLVII
2013 Seattle Seahawks 13-3-0 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XLVIII
2014 Seattle Seahawks 12-4-0 Won Divisional and NFC Championship Games, TBD

*A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games. Thus, the league used a special sixteen-team playoff tournament for that year only. Division standings were ignored, and Atlanta had the best record of the division teams.

Wild Card qualifiers[edit]

Season Team Record Playoff Results
1978 Atlanta Falcons 9-7-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1980 Los Angeles Rams 11-5-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1983 Los Angeles Rams 9-7-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1984 Los Angeles Rams 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1985 San Francisco 49ers 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1986 Los Angeles Rams 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1987 New Orleans Saints 12-3-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1988 Los Angeles Rams 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1989 Los Angeles Rams 11-5-0 Won Wild Card and Divisional Games, Lost NFC Championship Game0
1990 New Orleans Saints 8-8-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1991 Atlanta Falcons 10-6-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1992 New Orleans Saints 12-4-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1995 Atlanta Falcons 9-7-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1996 San Francisco 49ers 12-4-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1998 San Francisco 49ers 12-4-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2000 St. Louis Rams 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
2001 San Francisco 49ers 12-4-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
2003 Seattle Seahawks 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
2004 St. Louis Rams 8-8-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2012 Seattle Seahawks 11-5-0 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2013 San Francisco 49ers 12-4-0 Won NFC Wild Card and Divisional Games, Lost NFC Championship Game
2014 Arizona Cardinals 11-5-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs

*A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games. Thus, the league used a special sixteen-team playoff tournament for that year only. Division standings were ignored.

See also[edit]

Total playoff berths[edit]

(Current NFC West teams' records 1967-2014)
Team Division
Championships
Playoff
Berths
Super Bowl
Appearances
Super Bowl
Wins
San Francisco 49ers1 19 (3) 24 (4) 6 (1) 5 (0)
St. Louis Rams1 13 (1) 21 (2) 3 (0) 1 (0)
Seattle Seahawks2 7 9 3 1
Arizona Cardinals2 2 4 1 0

To sort table above, click button to right of heading.

1Numbers since re-alignment in parenthesis
2These numbers only reflect the Seahawks & Cardinals' time as a member of the NFC West.

References[edit]