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Power-Ranking the Teams at 4-5: Where Would You Put The Rams?

There's a point in every season where the standings look ... weird. With only eleven teams above .500, and eleven more teams at 4-5 (*), this is that point. Among this bolus of bogus, which teams are trending up and which are sliding down?

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Everyone loves hates obsesses over power rankings, and with good reason because we are messy people living chaotic lives in a world where facts are subjective and here is some jackoff on the internet with the temerity to PUT THINGS IN A DIFFERENT ORDER THAN I WOULD HAVE! RAGE!

Normally, the herp-de-derp trump card for anyone who wants to pick a fight with power rankings of any stripe is wins. WINS! SCOREBOARD!

But when there are twelve playoff spots and only eleven teams with a record above .500, and eleven more teams (*) stuck with a painfully flawed 4-5 record, the WINS! argument goes out the window. And this is where we can have some fun.

* I included the 4-6 Saints because late bye weeks are stupid and they're certainly flawed enough to count in this group.

Because the Rams sit in this pile of imperfection, I thought it would be a fun exercise to throw some criteria together for teasing these teams apart. After all, we have to know where we stand, right?

The Criteria

I picked eight criteria that seemed significant. I could have picked more ("Toxic Differential" is a really fun stat), or fewer ("Health" is awful subjective), but eight seemed like enough. These criteria aren't weighted in any way - each one counts the same. And in each criteria, I used a very basic scoring: each team is scored as either very good (+2), pretty good (+1), neutral, pretty bad (-1) or very bad (-2). The total scoring is just a sum of each criteria score.

1. Division Record

Even a bad team can win their division, especially if they're in a bad division. (Looking at you, Texans and Colts). The first tiebreaker besides head-to-head is a team's division record. So this is a big one. And perhaps the Rams' biggest achievement of the year so far is their 3-0 record vs the NFC West.

2. Games Behind Division Leader

Playoffs? We're talking playoffs? For some of these teams, yes. Very much so. For others (sorry, Saints and Bucs), Jim Mora would like to have a few words with you. The Rams are teetering on the brink of irrelevancy here despite their 3-0 division record, thanks to the Seahawks failing to slow down the Cardinals on Sunday night.

3. W/L Streak

ARE YOU HAWT OR TOTALLY NOT!? With a two-game losing streak, the Rams are decidedly not.

4. Net Points

Based on their points allowed and points given up, should this team's record be better or worse than it is? Or is 4-5 pretty much right? The Rams have given up 17 more points than they've scored, which is about what you'd expect.

5. Health

Nobody is fully healthy in week 9, so nobody gets a plus-plus rating here, but there is a relative level of health that is worth looking at. With Rodger Saffold, Jamon Brown and Darian Williams now in the tank and Rob Havenstein gimpy, plus assorted defensive maladies to deal with, the Rams grade here is not good.

6. Confidence In Your Quarterback

A bit simplistic, but basically a measure of whether it feels like this 4-5 team can lean on its quarterback in the weeks to come. Cue the Dick Vermeil soundboard: "We will rally around Kurt Warner Case Keenum, and we will play good football."

7. Confidence In Your Head Coach

Despite the slow start, how would you gauge the leadership on this team? Does it feel like the blueprint is in place to drag this team to a winning record? Or is the writing on the wall? I think the TST stance on Fisherball is fairly well established at this point, but I'm bumping them up a point because the Todd Gurley Blueprint is so in keeping with the kind of winner Fisher wants. Too bad we abandoned it vs Chicago...

8. Past Success

The Plexiglass rule applies here. If a team has had recent success, they're probably more likely than a team that hasn't to be able to tap into a winning formula. If not... Rams gonna Ram

The Rankings

Team DivRec GBack W/L Diff Health QBConf CoConf Past Total Score
Kansas City Chiefs +6
Indianapolis Colts +5
Seattle Seahawks +3
Houston Texans +2
Philadelphia Eagles -1
Washington Redskins -2
Oakland Raiders -3
Chicago Bears -4
Miami Dolphins -4
New Orleans Saints -5
Tampa Bay Bucs -6
Saint Louis Rams -8