Power rankings summary, Week 11: Fit to be tied

Brian Bahr

Ties are confusing and therefore the worst. How would the national media put the 24-24 tie between the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers in perspective through the power rankings?

Ties are the worst.

Sports is my favorite way of taking something incredibly complicated and reducing it down to the most minimal decontextual assessments. Skip Bayless makes a handsome living off those assessments, because everyone understands them. EVERYONE. There's nothing else every fan understands.

Why is Peyton Manning good at playing quarterback? You could try to summate it in a Twitter-friendly sentence, but it would lack the context of reality. What makes Peyton different from Tom Brady? Again, a subject that if treated properly needs a couple thousand words at a minimum. But if the Broncos play the Patriots, one of them wins, and one of them loses.

Sports provide false clarity, and it's comforting in its unambiguity...except in the case of a tie.

Ties destroy all human understanding of anything ever. What if the American Revolution had ended in a tie? That's the dumbest question ever for two reasons: first, it's an impossibility. Second, ties are the dumbest. Find a negative descriptor, and you can apply it to ties.

So how to gauge the Rams-Niners game? Does tying the Niners in San Francisco without Janoris Jenkins and Chris Givens qualify as some sort of unwin? How does this work? What is this context crap? Get me back to a plac where wins mean better and losses mean bumclownfraud. Oh, and, TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.

Average ranking (# of rankings) 22 (11)
Average change from last week +2.18
Highest ranking (source) 18th (Pro Football Talk)
Lowest ranking (source) 26th (SB Nation)
Biggest positive change (source) +4 (multiple sources)
Biggest negative change (source) 0 (NFL.com - Harrison)

SB Nation: 26th (29th last week)

I know you're not supposed to like ties but if you're the Rams you're not that upset at a tie with the 49ers, right?

ESPN: 23rd (24th)

The Rams have scored at least 24 points in three of their past four games against the 49ers.

NFL.com (Power Poll): 23rd (25th)

NFL.com (Harrison): 21st (21st)

The only thing worse than a tie would have been if the St. Louis Rams had blown a chance to win the game with a knucklehead illegal-formation penalty. Thank God that didn't happen.

CBS Sports: 21st (23rd)

A tie on the road against San Francisco has to feel like a victory for this team. Then again, it was their game to lose at the end.

Yahoo! Sports: 22nd (23rd)

Technically, the Rams' 24-24 tie with the 49ers snapped their three-game losing streak. The real story is that the Rams showed that, in Year 1 of the Jeff Fisher and Les Snead Era, they're capable of going on the road against a superior team -- which the 49ers are -- and win. They also proved that they can do that on the same day they sat a pair of rookies that the team has been counting on for contributions on both sides of the ball for disciplinary reasons. Second-round cornerback Janoris Jenkins had started all eight games and had played in nearly 98 percent of the Rams' defensive snaps over the first eight games, while fourth-round wide receiver Chris Givens had played in over 50 percent of the offensive snaps and had a string of five consecutive games with a 50-plus yard reception. Neither played against the 49ers after violating team rules.

Pro Football Talk: 18th (20th)

With the Rams having a 2-0-1 record in the division and a 1-5 mark out of it, the NFC West isn’t as good as we think it is.

Pro Football Weekly: 22nd (25th)

Two fake punts, a great effort by Bradford, but just a tie to show for it.

Fox Sports: 24th (28th)

The Rams tied in a game they should have won twice. First, Danny Amendola had an 80-yard reception wiped out in overtime due to an illegal formation penalty, then Greg Zuerlein had a 53-yard game-wining field goal wiped out by a delay-of-game penalty. Ouch.

National Football Post: 22nd (26th)

Illegal formation? Delay of game? Those two penalties blew the Rams’ opportunity to get the win in San Fran.

Sports Illustrated: 20th (22nd)

I'm giving the Rams some props for their moral victory of a tie at San Francisco, but let's be honest, they also found multiple ways to blow a win in that too-ghastly-to-watch overtime period. Jeff Fisher is right. In the long term, that was the kind of performance that will help his young team believe in itself. But in the short term, it was a killer, delivered square in the solar plexis.

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