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2016 NFL Power Rankings, Week 1

Here’s where the 2016 Los Angeles Rams start the year in the power rankings...where they always do. Looking up at most of the rest of the league.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher 
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The best way to gauge the national consensus of assessing the NFL landscape are the power rankings. They’re not scientific. They don’t have to be. Taken together from the major media outlets gives us the best snapshot at how teams are being viewed through the national lens. And while the wins and losses that come throughout the regular season have the most obvious effect, power rankings in the preseason are a manifestation of...of what?

Of the previous season’s finish? Of the perceived quality of the offseason? Of a general assessment of where the team has been and how we feel about the people in charge guiding them wherever they’re headed? A bit of all of the above?

We got our first rollout of power rankings this week, and, as Rams fans should be well accustomed to at this point, they’re not pretty. The question is if Rams fans really care.

Does the national media telling Rams fans that Year Five under Head Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead is going to be more of the same, more disappointing Fisherball and if anything a worse win-loss record matter? In an age of near-universal institutional distrust, it’s clearly an easy out for Rams fans to simply scoff at a national media who doesn’t “get” the Rams. I just wonder at what point Rams fans get tired of going to bat for the Rams when they continue to provide sub-standard results at the same time they enable and empower the same people who guided them to those sub-standard results.

It’s just power rankings. Until it’s not.

Average ranking (# of rankings) 26.14 (7)
Average change from last week N/A
Highest ranking (source) 21st (Pro Football Talk)
Lowest ranking (source) 30th (FOX Sports)
Biggest positive change (source) N/A
Biggest negative change (source) N/A

SB Nation: 26th

If there’s a worse quarterback situation than what the 49ers have, it might be the Rams. Not only are they starting Case Keenum, but Jared Goff, the rookie they traded two first-round picks and some change for, failed to lock down the backup quarterback job in the preseason. Their No. 1 receiver is a gadget player, the secondary lost a handful of starters and they’re coached by Jeff Fisher.

ESPN: 28th

With Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald, Jared Goff and a handful of other exciting young players, the Rams certainly have the panache to command attention in the competitive Los Angeles market. Still, they may not have the overall depth to get over the .500 mark and reach the playoffs in a tough NFC West. 28th

First overall pick Jared Goff isn't playing. In fact, he's not even the No. 2 in Los Angeles. If starter Case Keenum gets Romo'd, we'll get to take in more Sean Mannion football. Not that that's necessarily terrible, as it makes sense for the Rams to exercise restraint when it comes to playing a raw quarterback. However, whatever honeymoon period exists between Los Angeles and the franchise is at least partially contingent on either a) the Rams winning or b) being patient while Goff learns the ropes on the field. The organization went after its guy, a talent deemed worthy of trading up for ... no argument there. But if Goff doesn't see the field in 2016, how long until Rams fans are back at their local Coffee Bean waiting for Jared Leto to walk in? It's not fair, but that must be a concern for the organization.

CBS Sports: 25th

It's all about Case Keenum. They have a good defense and Todd Gurley, but can they throw it around? If no, how long before top pick Jared Goff plays.

Yahoo! Sports: 25th

Maybe Jared Goff sitting will end up being OK. I think the notion that quarterbacks should sit and learn is outdated, especially when we’re talking about a top pick. But maybe Goff needs time, and that’s fine. But don’t try spinning this as a positive or something inevitable. It’s bad that he’s third on the depth chart. It doesn’t mean he’s a bust. He could end up being a great quarterback. But it is not good that he couldn’t at least beat out Sean Mannion for the backup job.

Pro Football Talk: 21st

The Climb to 7-9 begins, with the latest evidence of the same-old outcome coming from the failure of the No. 1 overall pick to be higher than No. 3 on the depth chart.

FOX Sports: 30th

Los Angeles Rams: 3-13

No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff can’t currently beat out Sean Mannion for the backup quarterback job, let alone crack the starting lineup. The Rams’ best assets are Todd Gurley and the defense, but even they won’t be strong enough to overcome Los Angeles’ deficiencies at quarterback and receiver.