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Ranking the Rankings - Week 7

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It's time to rate the Rams based on the arbitrary analysis of others.

That's right, it's time for another edition of the Power Rankings Rundown. And come on, all six readers here at the TST know the Rankings Rundown is the only reason, besides checking the fantasy football waiver wire, you peel yourself up off your twin bed in your parents' basement each Wednesday.

A heartbreaking loss to Seattle with an asterisk next to it in the hearts of Rams fans hasn't damaged our prestigious standings in the rankings of lazy pundits across the country. The Rams offense IS established now, and gives this team a chance, even a small one, to win every game it plays. Let's take a look:

Pro Football Weekly
PFW was the only one that dropped us down a notch, and it was just a notch as they put the Rams in the 17th spot this week, after being ranked 16th last week. Rather than note anything substantive about the Rams play from week 6, they simply point out that our late game luck ran out with the now infamous 10-second rundown ruling. Seriously, if we're going to continue to read the power ranking here, we need substance. I never realized just how empty a ranked number was until I saw the Colts ranked number 2 here.

ESPN
Everybody's favorite sports media conglomerate bumps the Rams up one spot to 14th in their panel of experts' rankings. The panel of experts rise above sheer hackery and give the Rams some credit. "St. Louis showed some doubters it can hang with the NFC's best." I'm still not going to watch SportsCenter...or subscribe to their weekly rag...or sign up for their cell phone thing.

CBS Sportsline
I like Sportsline, always have, and I suspect a lot of it has to do with the fact that it's the site where I started playing fantasy sports. Now, I have no idea if that makes their reporting and analysis any better, but I fell right into the consumer quicksand of brand loyalty. Their rankings aren't bad either. The Rams fell one spot to 14th this week, and assigned ranker Pete Prisco correctly surmises that the Rams missed a golden opportunity to take control of the NFC West. Sportsline's rankings also feature a trend line, charting the course of the Rams, and other teams if you're so inclined, spot in pundit assessment since the beginning of the season. The Rams started off ranked 22nd when the season began, with the defense being the biggest question mark. From 22 to 14, if you can put any stock in pundit assessment, the new regime at the Ed Jones Dome is doing a pretty good job thus far.

Football Outsiders
This one might be my favorite in the world of rankings, as the DVOA system allows for rankings based on statistical analysis, rather than just the city with the particular ranker's favorite place to get a cheesesteak sandwich. The Rams climb three spots to #15, based largely on their offensive performance. FO ranked the Rams offense 5th overall, while the defense merited only the 18th spot. Interestingly enough, while everyone else has focused most of their attention on the ridiculous 10-seconds or the Rams defense, they note performance of the Rams offensive line for allowing six sacks, half of them with just three front defensive linemen. Preventing those second half sacks could have had as much impact on the game's outcome as any ten seconds.

This week the Rams still have a composite ranking of 15, and this time, it's solid. I really thought a loss would have dropped them in more lists, but, save for a few unfortunate lapses, the Rams essentially matched the Seahawks. They definitely proved they can beat them the next time they play. They'll need the bye this week to get tuned up for a tough stretch that continues in week 8 against what might be the best team in the AFC, San Diego. [Chiefs fans must love to see Marty Ball leading the way in their conference and division.] If the Cardinals can almost upset the Bears, there's hope for the Rams, especially if the defense plays like it did in the first half of the Seattle game. It won't be easy, but fortunately we'll always have the power rankings to help us understand just what it all means.

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