Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Rams' bye week cleaved the season into two equal halves of eight games. After falling to 3-5 through the initial half, the Rams will kick off the second octet with a trip to San Francisco. How does the national media gauge the team after a week without Rams football?
Well, you can't win during a bye week. You can't lose either.
The real question at the halfway mark as it relates to the power rankings is if you think the Rams are a .500 or so team by season's end. If so, they're playing their way there and just hit a tough stretch against arguably the toughest two teams on their schedule. If not, they got a couple lucky breaks against division opponents at home.
We can't know right now. But the deviation between the different rankings certainly give an indication of who leans toward the former and who leans to the latter.
(NOTE: If you'd like me to add any other source, let me know in the comments.)
|Average ranking (# of rankings)||24.18 (11)
|Average change from last week||-0.55|
|Highest ranking (source)||20th (Pro Football Talk)
|Lowest ranking (source)||29th (SB Nation)|
|Biggest positive change (source)||0 (multiple sources)|
|Biggest negative change (source)||-2 (CBS Sports)|
The Rams new GM is doing these a little differently this year, which is a good thing. Not finishing over .500 in nearly a decade is a bad thing.
Watching to see if QB Sam Bradford steps up over the second half of his third season as an NFL starter.
Much like the Cardinals, the St. Louis Rams are in a steep decline. During the bye week, head coach Jeff Fisher and staff must've taken a hard look at a defense that isn't playing nearly as well as it did early in the season. The secondary had its difficulties with both the Packers and the Patriots, which is understandable, given that those teams are quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, respectively. But New England seemingly did whatever it wanted offensively, exploiting the Rams on the ground, too. The schedule provides no breaks, with a trip to San Francisco in Week 10. Remember: Alex Smith went 18-for-19 with three touchdowns his last time out. Big game for the Rams.
Coming off the bye, their second half will be about building for next season. They're playing a lot of young players, so it makes sense.
The biggest news of the Rams' bye week was that they did not trade veteran running back Steven Jackson, who has the option to void his contract after Super Bowl XLVII. Jackson may not be in the team's long-term plans, which will be shaped by first-year general manager Les Snead. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch provided an in-depth look at Snead, including how he began implementing his way of doing things this summer.
With two of the next four games against the 49ers, this year’s record is going to start looking a lot more like last year’s record.
Sam Bradford will need maybe his best game to upset the 49ers
I wonder how the eight-hour plane ride was on the way home from London after getting beat by 38 points . . . couldn’t have been fun.
We think Fisher’s club is on the right track—but it’s not going to happen this season.
Danny Amendola is back this week for the game at San Francisco, and that always helps Sam Bradford look like a better quarterback, with his favorite receiver to target. It won't help enough, mind you. But it'll help.