The Rams haven’t started a season 3-1 since the 2006 season. Back then, it took an Oct. 1 Week 4 win to get to the .750 mark featuring one of TE Joe Klopfenstein’s two career touchdowns. Ah, time, you fickle jerk.
So now ten years later, is the national consensus buying into the 2016 Rams’ hot start?
|Average ranking (# of rankings)||15.17 (7)|
|Average change from last week||+5.43|
|Highest ranking (source)||13th (NFL.com)|
|Lowest ranking (source)||17th (multiple sources)|
|Biggest positive change (source)||+8 (multiple sources)|
|Biggest negative change (source)||+4 (multiple sources)|
On the opposite side of the spectrum are the Los Angeles Rams, who have three wins despite an offense that doesn't do a whole lot of anything. But the team's physical defense, led by Aaron Donald, had another great day on Sunday against another divisional opponent.
6-2: There are five quarterbacks who have posted a 6-2 record since Week 14 of last season: Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Alex Smith, Kirk Cousins and ... Case Keenum. He might not be doing a lot, but he's doing enough.
First place, yo. The last time the Los Angeles Rams were in first place in the NFC West through Week 4 was back in 1989, when Jim Everett was heaving long balls to Henry Ellard and Willie "Flipper" Anderson (whose record of 336 yards receiving in one '89 game remains the standard Julio Jones was trying to catch on Sunday). Greg Bell ran for over 1,000 yards that year. Yeah, but defenses sure didn't focus on Bell the way they hone in on Todd Gurley -- which is why all the talk about the Rams being 3-1 "without Gurley doing anything" is nonsense. Watch the games. Case Keenum is getting open looks downfield because of the opposing defense's preoccupation with Gurley on standard running downs. Opponents are basically saying, "We'll make Case Keenum, Brian Quick and Kenny Britt beat us." On Sunday, they did just that.
At 3-1, the defense is carrying this team. But at some point, you have to score more points.
The one optimistic thing you can say about the Rams offense is Todd Gurley can’t be this unproductive all season. He has had some tough matchups. The line blocking for him isn’t good, and defenses won’t respect Los Angeles’ passing game, but Gurley is too good to be averaging less than 3 yards a carry. That will change.
They may [get] that seventh win a lot earlier than usual.
What more can be said about the 3-1 Rams besides “Wow.” Their unbelievable start has been, well, hard to believe. It’s even more shocking considering Todd Gurley has been a minimal contributor and has struggled through four games. The quarterback position will ultimately doom the Rams, but you have to give credit where it’s due.