Everyone's favorite process of arbitrary evaluation, power rankings, are slowly creeping back into NFL news outlets. Pro Football Talk's Evan Silva has been manning the controls thus far placing the Rams in the 28th spot today.
It's hard to disagree, to be fair. The Rams were abhorrent on offense last year, and an injury-decimated secondary allowed no pass defense relief on that side of the ball to say nothing of our run defense. Sure, we're all excited about the Rams' draft class and free agent moves, but so are 31 other teams. It's just not rational to put a team as bad as they were last year much higher as a national writer.
The only part I would disagree with would be his final summary of how he views the team:
The NFC West has long been considered the weakest division in football, and there is pretty much every reason to believe the Rams are its weakest team. Five or six wins would be an accomplishment for this roster.
The bad news is the Rams aren’t going to compete for a .500 record in 2012. The good news is they can change that in the near future.
Maybe it's my bias simmering to the top, but I don't agree with him there.
Yes, the Rams will have to rely on a large number of rookies in 2012, as he fairly noted. And yes, there have been fundamental changes at the top of the organization that preceded sweeping roster moves. That's a good thing after a 2-14 season and a three-year run of 10-48. Those don't necessarily portend to a record that far away from 8-8.
Two years ago, with a rookie QB and LT in Sam Bradford and Rodger Saffold along with second-year players RT Jason Smith, CB Bradley Fletcher and most importantly MLB James Laurinaitis, the Rams surprised everyone (including probably themselves) with a promising 7-9 season that sniffed the playoffs.
I'm not saying it's going to happen again, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Rams go into the week 9 bye believing they can do just that with more conviction than they do today.