There was plenty of speculation regarding the Los Angeles Rams heading into the 2017 NFL season. Despite the team’s new coaching staff and upgraded player personnel, the majority of preseason power rankings expected little improvement from their tumultuous debut season in Los Angeles.
However, the Rams took even the most optimistic fans by surprise after posting two 40-point games in the first three weeks. Los Angeles now currently sits in first place in the NFC West division standings, while also moving up the power rankings of pretty much every reputable sports media outlet. Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Rams listed at No. 16:
“The Rams delivered on Thursday in what might be the game of the year thus far. The offense looks completely different from how it did last year, in the best possible interpretation of that phrase. The defense under coordinator Wade Phillips might take a bit more time to gel — usually, a new offense is slower to develop than a new D, but not in this case. Meanwhile, the nice start for this franchise is not an aberration — unlike last year’s 3-1 record, which was smoke, mirrors and a bushy mustache.”
Meanwhile, ESPN.com also has Los Angeles ranked respectively at No. 16:
“68.5 Total QBR. Goff is averaging a league-best 10.1 yards per attempt this season, and he also has the fourth-best Total QBR. He ranked last in both in 2016. The new Rams offense will have some tougher challenges coming up though, with games against the Cowboys, Seahawks and surprising Jaguars.”
It is certainly a surprise to see many of the analysts that had this team scraping the bottom of the consensus rankings finally start sipping the Rams Kool-Aid. To be fair, even the most optimistic Rams fans would have had difficulty determining the level of success they have enjoyed so far.
Los Angeles will have their work cut out for them in the coming weeks in their first road trip of the 2017 NFL season. If they can continue to improve on both sides of the ball, the Rams could very well contend for a division title.