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The National Football Conference Western Division or NFC West is one of the four
division Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics), the inverse of multiplication *Division algorithm, a method for computing the result of mathematical division Military *Division (military), a formation typically consisting o ...
s of the
National Football Conference The National Football Conference (NFC) is one of the two conferences of the National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football Sports league, league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally bet ...
(NFC) in the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football Sports league, league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of ...
(NFL). It currently has four members: the
Arizona Cardinals The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...
, the
Los Angeles Rams The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team based in the Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Rams compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) NFC West, ...
, the
San Francisco 49ers The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangul ...
, and the
Seattle Seahawks The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle. The Seahawks compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) NFC West, West division. The 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 The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
,
Baltimore Colts Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the List of municipalities in Maryland, most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as List of United States cities by population, the 30th most populous city in the United States, with an estimated pop ...
,
Los Angeles Rams The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team based in the Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Rams compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) NFC West, ...
, and San Francisco 49ers. Los Angeles and San Francisco occupied the West Coast, while Baltimore maintained its dominance over the lesser teams that remained in the division. Atlanta was placed in the division instead of the expansion
New Orleans Saints The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangu ...

New Orleans Saints
despite being farther east than five Eastern Conference teams (Cowboys, Cardinals, Saints, Browns and Steelers). After the
AFL–NFL merger The AFL–NFL merger was the merger of the two major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleve ...
in 1970, the division was renamed the NFC West. The Baltimore Colts moved to the
AFC East The American Football Conference – Eastern Division or AFC East is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of the two conferences of the National Football League (NFL), ...
and were replaced by the Saints, who came from the Eastern Conference (the Saints played in the Capitol Division in 1967 and '69, and the Century Division in 1968). In 1976, the newly formed
Seattle Seahawks The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle. The Seahawks compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) NFC West, West division. The Seahawks ...
spent one season in this division (Seattle did not play the other four members of the division home-and-home in 1976, playing each of the other 13 NFC teams and the other expansion team of 1976, the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectang ...
) before moving to the
AFC West The American Football Conference – Western Division or AFC West is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The division comprises the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, ...
. Except for that one year, the division remained the same until 1995 with the addition of the new
Carolina Panthers The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...

Carolina Panthers
team. The Rams moved to St. Louis before that same season, making the division geographically inaccurate. Ten of the fifteen NFC teams were based west of Atlanta, and twelve of them were based west of Charlotte (all except the Redskins, Eagles and Giants). The 2002 re-alignment changed the entire look of the NFC West. The Falcons, Panthers, and Saints moved into the
NFC South The National Football Conference – South Division or NFC South is one of the four divisions of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American footba ...
; while the Cardinals moved in from the NFC East and the Seahawks returned from the AFC West. The Rams remained in the West, preserving the historical rivalry with the 49ers that has existed since
1950 January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day marks ...
, and thus had been the only team in the division that was located east of the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch in great-circle distance, straight-line distance from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, ...

Rocky Mountains
until 2015; despite this, the re-alignment made the NFC West have all of its teams based west of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system on the North American continent, second only to ...

Mississippi River
. With the Rams' return to Los Angeles in 2016, the entire NFC West is now located west of the Rockies for the first time in its history; all teams except for the Cardinals are based in the
Pacific Time Zone The Pacific Time Zone (PT) is a time zone encompassing parts of western Canada, the western United States, and western Mexico. Places in this zone observe standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−08:00). D ...
(since most of
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...
does not observe
daylight saving time Daylight saving time (DST), also daylight savings time or daylight time (the United States and Canada) and summer time (United Kingdom, European Union, and others), is the practice of advancing clocks (typically by one hour) during warmer month ...
, the clocks are the same as Pacific Daylight Time from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday of November). The 2016 season marked the first time neither the 49ers nor Seahawks played a division game east of the Rocky Mountains. The NFC West became the second division since the 2002 realignment (the NFC South was the first) to have each of its teams make a conference championship game appearance: Los Angeles (2018), Arizona (2008 and 2015), San Francisco (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2019), and Seattle (2005, 2013, and 2014). Also since 2002, each team has won at least three division titles, one of only two divisions in the league to do so. All of its teams have appeared in a Super Bowl at least once since the 2002 realignment (the only other division accomplishing this being the NFC South): Arizona (
2008 2008 was designated as: * International Year of Languages *International Year of Planet Earth *International Year of Sanitation *International Year of the Potato Events January * January 1 – Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro. * January ...
), Los Angeles Rams (
2018 2018 was designated as the third International Year of the Reef by the International Coral Reef Initiative. Events January * January 13 – The killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, in a fake encounter killings by police, encounter staged by pol ...
), San Francisco (
2012 2012 was designated as: * International Year of Cooperatives *International Year of Sustainable Energy for All Events January * January 12 – Violent protests occur in Bucharest Bucharest ( , ; ro, București ) is the capital ...
,
2019 2019 was designated as International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six pri ...
), and Seattle (
2005 2005 was designated as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education and the International Year of Microcredit. 2005 was also the end of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (1995–2005). Events January * Ja ...
,
2013 2013 was designated as: *International Year of Water Cooperation *International Year of Quinoa Events January * January 10 – More than 100 people are killed and 270 injured in January 2013 Pakistan bombings, several bomb blasts in Pak ...
,
2014 2014 was designated as: * International Year of Crystallography * International Year of Family Farming * International Year of Small Island Developing States * International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People __TOC__ Events Janu ...
). In 2010, the NFC West became the first division in NFL history to have a champion with a losing record, after the
Seattle Seahawks The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle. The Seahawks compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) NFC West, West division. The Seahawks ...
won the division title with a record of 7–9. They were joined in this distinction in 2014 by the
Carolina Panthers The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...
, who won the NFC South with a record of 7–8–1, and in 2020 by the
Washington Football Team The Washington Football Team is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a r ...
, who won the NFC East also with a record of 7–9. Since the end of the 2020 NFL regular season, the 49ers lead the division with a record of 589–499–16 589–499–16 (137–166–1 since re-alignment) with five
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
titles and an overall playoff record of 33–22. The Rams hold a record of 586–575–21 586–575–21 (130–173–1 since re-alignment) with four Super Bowl appearances and one win to go with a 21–26 overall playoff record. The Cardinals hold a 135–167–2 record since joining the NFC West (566–770–41 566–770–41 overall) and a loss in
Super Bowl XLIII Super Bowl XLIII was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American footb ...
, currently with a 7–9 playoff record, 5–4 as a member of the NFC West. The Seahawks hold a record of 179–124–1 since joining the NFC West (367–340–1 overall), with three Super Bowl appearances, winning
Super Bowl XLVIII Super Bowl XLVIII was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American footb ...
to go with a playoff record of 17–18; they are currently 14–13 in the playoffs as a member of the NFC West, having gone 3–5 while in the
AFC West The American Football Conference – Western Division or AFC West is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The division comprises the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, ...
. Since re-alignment, the Seahawks have led the division in wins, division titles, and playoff appearances. In the 19 years since realignment (as of the end of the 2020 season) the Seahawks have as many playoff berths as the other 3 teams combined, and won the division only 1 fewer times (9) as the other 3 teams combined (10).


Division lineups

Place cursor over year for division champ or Super Bowl team. :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. :The Coastal Division adopts current name after the AFL–NFL merger. Baltimore moved to the
AFC East The American Football Conference – Eastern Division or AFC East is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of the two conferences of the National Football League (NFL), ...
. New Orleans moved in from Capitol Division. :Seattle was enfranchised in 1976. Moved to the AFC West in 1977. :In 1995, Carolina is enfranchised and the Rams move to
St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the List of U.S. states and territor ...

St. Louis, Missouri
. :For the 2002 season, the league realigned to have eight four-team divisions. Seattle returns. Arizona joins from the East. Atlanta, Carolina, and New Orleans moved to the new
NFC South The National Football Conference – South Division or NFC South is one of the four divisions of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American footba ...
. :Prior to the 2016 season, the Rams moved back to Los Angeles.


Division champions

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 the St. Louis Rams to create the new NFC West. *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

*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

;Notes and Tiebreakers * 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). * The Baltimore Colts won the NFL Championship, but lost to the AFL's New York Jets in
Super Bowl III Super Bowl III was the third AFL–NFL Championship Game in professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams o ...
. * 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

* 49ers–Rams rivalry * 49ers–Seahawks rivalry


Total playoff berths

:(Current NFC West teams' records 1967–2020) :1Numbers since re-alignment in parenthesis :2These numbers only reflect the Seahawks & Cardinals' time as members of the NFC West.


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Nfc West National Football League divisions Arizona Cardinals Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers New Orleans Saints Los Angeles Rams San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks Sports in the Western United States 1967 establishments in the United States