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Despite Win Over Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams Drop in ESPN’s Preseason Power Rankings

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A win over the Cowboys doesn’t appear to have inspired much confidence from the ESPN staff...

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams secured their first win of the 2016 preseason in comeback fashion last Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys. Kicking things off with a win in the Coliseum, for the first time in over two decades, gave the fans exactly what they were hoping for.

But wins and losses count for very little in August, as teams use their camps and preseason games to knock off the rust and, ultimately, make personnel decisions for the upcoming year. And that’s evident in ESPN’s updated Preseason Power Rankings, which have the Rams sliding from their post-draft ranking in May.

Following the 2016 NFL Draft - in which the Rams gave up a slew of picks to grab Jared Goff - a panel of 80 ESPN writers, editors, and TV personalities collectively pegged the Rams at 26 in their way-too-early power rankings. Here’s what they had to say at the time:

26. Los Angeles Rams

2015 record: 7-9
Post-free agency ranking: No. 27

One of the stories of this offseason is Rams owner Stan Kroenke rolling out of St. Louis, Jed Clampett-style, in that two-decker convertible jalopy with Granny up on that big chair in the back, looking around. Swimmin' pools, movie stars. But still not really anyone to catch the ball from No. 1 pick Jared Goff.

As you can see, the panel gave the Rams a bit of credit for taking the draft’s top QB prospect, affording them the ability to inch up to the 26th spot. But, with a pair of Hard Knocks episodes and a win against the Cowboys behind them, it looks as though the same bunch from ESPN is slightly less optimistic about their outlook with less than a month before the onset of the regular season:

29. Los Angeles Rams

2015 record: 7-9
Post-draft ranking: No. 26


The Rams' appearance on "Hard Knocks" has proved one thing so far: Jared Goff doesn't know which direction the sun sets. Luckily for Goff, his star will rise out west if he can improve the Rams' NFL-worst 35.6 Total QBR from last season.
I probably shouldn’t have to say this, but I will: take these rankings with a grain of salt. Power rankings this time of year matter about as much as a QB’s knowledge of where the sun rises and sets. Plus, as Eric Kush pointed out, "the sun technically doesn’t rise. The f*ckin’ Earth just orbits around it."

And that’s what really matters in August.