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)
Teams
No. of teams 4
Championships
Most recent NFC West champion(s) Arizona Cardinals (3rd title)
Most NFC West titles San Francisco 49ers (19 titles)

The NFC West is a division of the National Football League (NFL)'s National Football Conference (NFC). It currently has four members: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles 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, the only team not from the Pacific Time Zone since 2016 (Mountain), and Seahawks, moved in. The Rams remained in the West, preserving the historical rivalry with the 49ers that has existed since 1950, and thus had been the only team in the division that was located east of the Rocky Mountains and from the Central Time Zone from 1995–2015 during their St. Louis years. With the Rams return to Los Angeles in 2016, the entire NFC West is located West of the Rockies for the first time in NFL History.

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.

Since the end of the 2015 NFL regular season, the 49ers led the division with a record of 558–450–16 (105–118–1 since re-alignment) with five Super Bowl titles and an overall playoff record of 31–21. The Rams hold a record of 540–542–21 (83–140–1 since re-alignment) with three Super Bowl appearances and one win to go with a 19–24 overall playoffs record. The Cardinals hold an 104–120 record since joining the NFC West (535–724–39 overall) and a loss in Super Bowl XLIII, currently with a 6–8 playoff record, 4–3 as a member of the NFC West. The Seahawks hold a record of 127–97 since joining the NFC West (315–313 overall), with three Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XLVIII to go with a playoff record of 15–13; they are currently 12–8 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[F] 17 18 19
Arizona Cardinals
St. Louis Rams Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks
     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 was 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, Missouri.
E For the 2002 season, the league realigned to have eight (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.
F Prior to the 2016 season, the Rams moved back to Los Angeles.

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 Won NFL Conference and Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl III
1969 Los Angeles Rams 11–3 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 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1972 San Francisco 49ers 8–5–1 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1973 Los Angeles Rams 12–2 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1974 Los Angeles Rams 10–4 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game0
1975 Los Angeles Rams 12–2 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 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1978 Los Angeles Rams 12–4 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1979 Los Angeles Rams 9–7 Won Divisional and NFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XIV0
1980 Atlanta Falcons 12–4 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1981 San Francisco 49ers 13–3 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XVI
1982* Atlanta Falcons 5–4 Lost NFC First Round
1983 San Francisco 49ers 10–6 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1984 San Francisco 49ers 15–1 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XIX
1985 Los Angeles Rams 11–5 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1986 San Francisco 49ers 10–5–1 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1987 San Francisco 49ers 13–2 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1988 San Francisco 49ers 10–6 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XXIII
1989 San Francisco 49ers 14–2 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XXIV
1990 San Francisco 49ers 14–2 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1991 New Orleans Saints 11–5 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1992 San Francisco 49ers 14–2 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1993 San Francisco 49ers 10–6 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1994 San Francisco 49ers 13–3 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XXIX
1995 San Francisco 49ers 11–5 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1996 Carolina Panthers 12–4 Lost NFC Championship Game
1997 San Francisco 49ers 13–3 Won Divisional Game, Lost NFC Championship Game
1998 Atlanta Falcons 14–2 Lost Super Bowl XXXIII
1999 St. Louis Rams 13–3 Won Divisional, NFC Championship Games, and Super Bowl XXXIV
2000 New Orleans Saints 10–6 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2001 St. Louis Rams 14–2 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 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Giants) 39–38
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Buccaneers) 6–31
2003 St. Louis Rams 12–4 Lost Divisional Playoffs (Panthers) 23–29 (2OT)
2004 Seattle Seahawks 9–7 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Rams) 20–27
2005 Seattle Seahawks 13–3 Won Divisional Playoffs (Redskins) 20–10
Won NFC Championship (Panthers) 34–14
Lost Super Bowl XL (vs. Steelers) 10–21
2006 Seattle Seahawks 9–7 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Cowboys) 21–20
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Bears) 24–27 (OT)
2007 Seattle Seahawks 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Redskins) 35–14
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Packers) 20–42
2008 Arizona Cardinals 9–7 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Falcons) 30–24
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Panthers) 33–13
Won NFC Championship (Eagles) 32–25
Lost Super Bowl XLIII (vs. Steelers) 23–27
2009 Arizona Cardinals 10–6 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Packers) 51–45 (OT)
Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs (at Saints) 14–45
2010 Seattle Seahawks 7–9 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs (Saints) 41–36
Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs (at Bears) 24–35
2011 San Francisco 49ers 13–3 Won Divisional Playoffs (Saints) 36–32
Lost NFC Championship (Giants) 17–20 (OT)
2012 San Francisco 49ers 11–4–1 Won Divisional Playoffs (Packers) 45–31
Won NFC Championship (at Falcons) 28–24
Lost Super Bowl XLVII (vs. Ravens) 31–34
2013 Seattle Seahawks 13–3 Won Divisional Playoffs (Saints) 23–15
Won NFC Championship (49ers) 23–17
Won Super Bowl XLVIII (vs. Broncos) 43–8
2014 Seattle Seahawks 12–4 Won Divisional Playoffs (Panthers) 31–17
Won NFC Championship (Packers) 28–22 (OT)
Lost Super Bowl XLIX (vs. Patriots) 24–28
2015 Arizona Cardinals 13–3 Won Divisional Playoffs (Packers) 26–20 (OT)
Lost NFC Championship (at Panthers) 15–49

*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 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Eagles) 14–13
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Cowboys) 20–27
1980 Los Angeles Rams 11–5 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Cowboys) 13–34
1983 Los Angeles Rams 9–7 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Cowboys) 24–17
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Redskins) 7–51
1984 Los Angeles Rams 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Giants) 13–16
1985 San Francisco 49ers 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Giants) 3–17
1986 Los Angeles Rams 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Redskins) 7–19
1987 New Orleans Saints 12–3 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Vikings) 10–44
1988 Los Angeles Rams 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Vikings) 17–28
1989 Los Angeles Rams 11–5 Won Wild Card and Divisional Games, Lost NFC Championship Game0
1990 New Orleans Saints 8–8 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Bears) 6–16
1991 Atlanta Falcons 10–6 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs, Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1992 New Orleans Saints 12–4 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Eagles) 20–36
1995 Atlanta Falcons 9–7 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs (at Packers) 20–37
1996 San Francisco 49ers 12–4 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Eagles) 14–0
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Packers) 14–35
1998 San Francisco 49ers 12–4 Won Wild Card Playoffs (Packers) 30–27
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Falcons) 18–20
2000 St. Louis Rams 10–6 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs (at Saints) 28–31
2001 San Francisco 49ers 12–4 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Packers) 15–25
2003 Seattle Seahawks 10–6 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Packers) 27–33 (OT)
2004 St. Louis Rams 8–8 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Seahawks) 27–20
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Falcons) 17–47
2012 Seattle Seahawks 11–5 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Redskins) 24–14
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Falcons) 28–30
2013 San Francisco 49ers 12–4 Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Packers) 23–20
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Panthers) 23–10
Lost NFC Championship (at Seahawks) 17–23
2014 Arizona Cardinals 11–5 Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Panthers) 16–27
2015 Seattle Seahawks 10–6 Won NFC Wild Card Playoffs (at Vikings) 10–9
Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs (at Panthers) 24–31

*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.

Season results[edit]

(#) Denotes team that won the Super Bowl
(#) Denotes team that won the NFC Championship, but lost Super Bowl (1970–present)
(#) Denotes team that qualified for the NFL Playoffs
Season Team (record)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1967 Los Angeles[a]
(11–1–2)
Baltimore (11–1–2) San Francisco (7–7) Atlanta (1–12–1)
1968 Baltimore[b] (13–1) Los Angeles (10–3–1) San Francisco (7–6–1) Atlanta (2–12)
1969 Los Angeles (11–3) Baltimore (8–5–1) Atlanta (6–8) San Francisco (4–8–2)
The Coastal Division became the NFC West.
1970 San Francisco
(10–3–1)
Los Angeles (9–4–1) Atlanta (4–8–2) New Orleans (2–11–1)
1971 San Francisco (9–5) Los Angeles (8–5–1) Atlanta (7–6–1) New Orleans (4–8–2)
1972 San Francisco (8–5–1) Atlanta (7–7) Los Angeles (6–7–1) New Orleans (2–11–1)
1973 Los Angeles (12–2) Atlanta (9–5) San Francisco (5–9) New Orleans (5–9)
1974 Los Angeles (10–4) San Francisco (6–8) New Orleans (5–9) Atlanta (3–11)
1975 (2) Los Angeles (12–2) San Francisco (5–9) Atlanta (4–10) New Orleans (2–12)
1976 (3) Los Angeles
(10–3–1)
San Francisco (8–6) Atlanta (4–10) New Orleans (4–10) Seattle (2–12)
1977 (2) Los Angeles (10–4) Atlanta (7–7) San Francisco (5–9) New Orleans (3–11)
1978 (1) Los Angeles (12–4) (4) Atlanta (9–7) New Orleans (7–9) San Francisco (2–14)
1979 (3) Los Angeles (9–7) New Orleans (8–8) Atlanta (6–10) San Francisco (2–14)
1980 (1) Atlanta (12–4) (5) Los Angeles (11–5) San Francisco (6–10) New Orleans (1–15)
1981 (1) San Francisco
(13–3)
Atlanta (7–9) Los Angeles (6–10) New Orleans (4–12)
1982[c] (5) Atlanta (5–4) New Orleans (4–5) San Francisco (3–6) L.A. Rams (2–7)
1983 (2) San Francisco
(10–6)
(5) L.A. Rams (9–7) New Orleans (8–8) Atlanta (7–9)
1984 (1) San Francisco
(15–1)
(4) L.A. Rams (10–6) New Orleans (7–9) Atlanta (4–12)
1985 (2) L.A. Rams (11–5) (5) San Francisco
(10–6)
New Orleans (5–11) Atlanta (4–12)
1986 (3) San Francisco
(10–5–1)
(5) L.A. Rams (10–6) Atlanta (7–8–1) New Orleans (7–9)
1987 (1) San Francisco
(13–2)
(4) New Orleans
(12–3)
L.A. Rams (6–9) Atlanta (3–12)
1988 (2) San Francisco
(10–6)
(5) L.A. Rams (10–6) New Orleans (10–6) Atlanta (5–11)
1989 (1) San Francisco
(14–2)
(5) L.A. Rams (11–5) New Orleans (9–7) Atlanta (3–13)
1990 (1) San Francisco
(14–2)
(6) New Orleans (8–8) L.A. Rams (5–11) Atlanta (5–11)
1991 (3) New Orleans
(11–5)
(6) Atlanta (10–6) San Francisco (10–6) L.A. Rams (3–13)
1992 (1) San Francisco
(14–2)
(4) New Orleans
(12–4)
Atlanta (6–10) L.A. Rams (6–10)
1993 (2) San Francisco
(10–6)
New Orleans (8–8) Atlanta (6–10) L.A. Rams (5–11)
1994 (1) San Francisco
(13–3)
New Orleans (7–9) Atlanta (7–9) L.A. Rams (4–12)
1995 (2) San Francisco
(11–5)
(6) Atlanta (9–7) St. Louis (7–9) Carolina (7–9) New Orleans (7–9)
1996 (2) Carolina (12–4) (4) San Francisco
(12–4)
St. Louis (6–10) Atlanta (3–13) New Orleans (3–13)
1997 (1) San Francisco
(13–3)
Carolina (7–9) Atlanta (7–9) New Orleans (6–10) St. Louis (5–11)
1998 (2) Atlanta (14–2) (4) San Francisco
(12–4)
New Orleans (6–10) Carolina (4–12) St. Louis (4–12)
1999 (1) St. Louis (13–3) Carolina (8–8) Atlanta (5–11) San Francisco (4–12) New Orleans (3–13)
2000 (3) New Orleans
(10–6)
(6) St. Louis (10–6) Carolina (7–9) San Francisco (6–10) Atlanta (4–12)
2001 (1) St. Louis (14–2) (5) San Francisco
(12–4)
New Orleans (7–9) Atlanta (7–9) Carolina (1–15)
2002 (4) San Francisco
(10–6)
St. Louis (7–9) Seattle (7–9) Arizona (5–11)
2003 (2) St. Louis (12–4) (5) Seattle (10–6) San Francisco (7–9) Arizona (4–12)
2004 (4) Seattle (9–7) (5) St. Louis (8–8) Arizona (6–10) San Francisco (2–14)
2005 (1) Seattle (13–3) St. Louis (6–10) Arizona (5–11) San Francisco (4–12)
2006 (4) Seattle (9–7) St. Louis (8–8) San Francisco (7–9) Arizona (5–11)
2007 (3) Seattle (10–6) Arizona (8–8) San Francisco (5–11) St. Louis (3–13)
2008 (4) Arizona (9–7) San Francisco (7–9) Seattle (4–12) St. Louis (2–14)
2009 (4) Arizona (10–6) San Francisco (8–8) Seattle (5–11) St. Louis (1–15)
2010 (4) Seattle (7–9) St. Louis (7–9) San Francisco (6–10) Arizona (5–11)
2011 (2) San Francisco
(13–3)
Arizona (8–8) Seattle (7–9) St. Louis (2–14)
2012 (2) San Francisco
(11–4–1)
(5) Seattle (11–5) St. Louis (7–8–1) Arizona (5–11)
2013 (1) Seattle (13–3) (5) San Francisco
(12–4)
Arizona (10–6) St. Louis (7–9)
2014 (1) Seattle (12–4) (5) Arizona (11–5) San Francisco (8–8) St. Louis (6–10)
2015 (2) Arizona (13–3) (6) Seattle (10–6) St. Louis (7–9) San Francisco (5–11)
Notes and Tiebreakers
  • a Los Angeles won the Coastal Division based on better point differential in head-to-head games (net 24 points) vs. Baltimore. The Rams and Colts played to a 24–24 tie in Baltimore in October before the Rams won 34–10 on the season's final Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The result would be the same under the modern tiebreaker, which relies first on head-to-head record (Los Angeles won the head-to-head series, 1–0–1).
  • b The Baltimore Colts won the NFL Championship, but lost to the AFL's New York Jets in Super Bowl II.
  • c Due to player strikes, the league shortened the 1982 season's games and realigned all the teams into conferences. The records for the division teams are based on what it would have looked like if they were still in the division.

See also[edit]

Total playoff berths[edit]

(Current NFC West teams' records 1967–2015)
Team Division
Championships
Playoff
Berths
Super Bowl
Appearances
Super Bowl
Wins
San Francisco 49ers1 19 (3) 25 (4) 6 (1) 5 (0)
Los Angeles Rams1 15 (1) 27 (2) 3 (0) 1 (0)
Seattle Seahawks2 7 10 3 1
Arizona Cardinals2 3 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 members of the NFC West.

References[edit]