Week 15 power rankings - Oh when the Saints...go marching in... (UPDATED)

(Wednesday update: SI's in, and Don Banks slid us down a notch.  Nothing crazy.  The averages have been updated as well.)

A quick note on why I've been doing these power ranking roundups, and then the meat.  Here's the real.

  Sure, these are arbitrary, often times poorly conceived (CBS Sports, chiefly) measuring sticks of conventional wisdom.  And CW is, for the most part, usually conventional and not very wise.  But it's important.  Consider a fact that we all know - the Rams don't have a single prime time game all season.  That means lost popularity, and popularity matters in a marketing sense.  In a business sense.  In a NFL sense.

  It's not the end all be all of the bottom line consensus, but it's closer than anything else.  And taken as an aggregate, I think it says something about how the major punditry views each team, but specifically for us the Rams, on a weekly basis.

  So hate if you want.  In the words of the great philosopher Katt Williams (language warning for the kids):

If there's any haters in here right now that don't have nobody to hate on, feel free to hate on me.

Rankings, ah go.

Average ranking (# of rankings) 19.33 (12)
Average change from last week -1.16
Highest ranking (source) 16th (NFL.com)
Lowest ranking (source) 24th (Sporting News)
Biggest positive change (source) +1 (Nat'l Football Post)
Biggest negative change (source) -3 (Fanhouse)

SB Nation: 23rd (22nd last week, and still a spot behind Seattle)

They're tied for the lead in the NFC West. It looks like their Week 17 game against the Seahawks will determine this division.

The rest of the major power rankings after the jump.

ESPN: 18th (17th)

Winning twice during three-game road trip put Rams in NFC West driver's seat.

NFL.com: 16th (16th)

CBS Sports: 23rd (22nd...with the Niners at 21st)

Despite losing to the Saints in ugly fashion, they don't lose any ground in the division. Sam Bradford had a rookie kind of game against the Saints.

Fanhouse: 18th (15th)

The Rams are "winning" the NFC West, even after suffering their second worst loss of the year in Week 13. It was Sam Bradford's third game of the season with no TDs and also his third game with multiple interceptions -- the latter is a solid stat for a rookie. The Rams have back-to-back home games ahead of them in their quest to go worst to first.

USA Today: 20th (18th)

Two-game homestand could offer bump in NFC West race.

National Football Post: 20th (21st)

Sam Bradford struggled with the Saints’ pressure defense, but they still can win the NFC West.

Sporting News: 24th (23rd)

A 2-1 finish might be enough to put them where they were in 2004 — .500 division winners.

Pro Football Weekly: 18th (17th)

Steven Jackson fumble was a killer.

Pro Football Talk: 18th (16th)

Though they’re not ready to contend for a Super Bowl appearance, winning the division would be one of the biggest accomplishments in the history of the league.

Fox Sports: 17th (15th)

The Rams have been a good story this season. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo has his team going in the right direction. But the reality is they need to add a significant amount of talent in order to be a legitimate playoff contender in the future.

Sports Illustrated: 17th (16th)

The Rams, Chiefs and Jaguars are all in position to be worst-to-first turnaround teams this season, but no one has come further than St. Louis, which won just six games over the course of its three consecutive last-place finishes in the NFC West from 2007 to 2009. No matter what they wind up with for a record, the Rams will have every right to celebrate a division title and a playoff trip.

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