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 by Elvis
1 week ago
 Total posts:   27283  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

https://www.nfl.com/news/sorry-undefeat ... -best-team

Sorry, undefeated Seahawks and Packers: Rams are NFC's best team

Published: Oct 15, 2020 at 03:20 PM
Adam Rank
NFL.com Writer

Listen, I don't try to live my life as a contrarian. That's not true -- I kind of do. I've spent a lot of time in public houses and taverns, and I've heard a lot of the sports world's most popular opinions. Sometimes, I think it's best to take a look at the other side.

In this space, I articulate positions that are the opposite of what most people think -- unpopular opinions, if you will -- and explain why, well, my unpopular opinions are right and everyone else is wrong. Below, I explain why the NFC's best team isn't who you think it is:

The 5-0 Seattle Seahawks and 4-0 Green Bay Packers are the NFC's last remaining undefeateds. But I'm here to tell you that neither one is the conference's top team.

That's right. In this moment, five weeks into an unprecedented, pandemic-shaped season, the NFC's best outfit is ...

The 4-1 Los Angeles Rams.

And if you want to respond with, "LOL, they are the best team in the NFC East," that is fair. After all, each of the Rams' four wins have come against the downtrodden division. Yup, L.A.'s performed a clean sweep of the NFL's current version of Madden on rookie level.

This week should have presented the Rams an opportunity to post a statement win, with Los Angeles traveling north for a showdown with the San Francisco 49ers. A clash of the last two NFC champs! In the stand-alone spotlight of Sunday Night Football!!

But of course, the Niners significantly de-hyped this prime-time affair with their effort last Sunday, when they were absolutely humiliated at home by the Miami Dolphins. That would be like the WWE building a WrestleMania main event of Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar, only to have Lesnar lose a match the week prior to David Otunga. Kinda takes a little bit of the shine away.

That said, the Rams will take care of business on Sunday night by beating the 49ers on their own field. Because L.A. is the best team in the NFC. In fact, this is Sean McVay's best group yet. Allow me to explain ...

Again, at first blush, wins over the NFC East aren't going to be held in the highest esteem. (I mean it's not like the gauntlet the Packers have faced, with wins over the 1-4 Vikings, 1-3 Lions and 0-5 Falcons. Or that murderer's row of (mostly) sub-.500 teams dismissed by the Seahawks.) Take a deeper look at the Rams' road thus far, though, and you might not be so quick to scoff. Los Angeles has played three road games in the Eastern time zone, in that early window that can be trouble for West Coast teams -- when the game kicks off at 10 a.m. PT. But the Rams have scored at least 30 points in all three of those games. In fact, they have scored more points in each of those roadies than they've posted in their two home wins. In the McVay era (going back to 2017), the Rams are 6-1 in early-window games in the Eastern time zone. And they'd be undefeated if their furious rally at Buffalo in Week 3 hadn't been nullified by a controversial pass interference call. (I'm sure Saints fans were all broken up over that development ...)

I've also been impressed with  Jared Goff  this season.  Russell Wilson  is finally getting a chance to cook, with the Seahawks' poor defense. And  Aaron Rodgers  can't pass up an opportunity to let everyone know how great he is, bragging to Pat McAfee that his down years are better than most guy's career seasons . But Goff has played well, especially in comparison to last year, when he looked like West Coast Trubisky much of the time. After posting a 100-plus passer rating in just four games total in 2019, Jared has reached triple digits in each of the past four contests. That's the QB's longest such streak since he went five straight in 2018 -- you know, the season when the Rams hit the Super Bowl. (Do Russ and Rodgers remember what the Super Bowl was like?) Goff 's current passer rating sits at a sparkling 108.8, he's completed nearly 72 percent of his throws and he leads the NFL with a yards-per-attempt figure of 9.0. Goff might not be everyone's first choice when choosing a quarterback (in fantasy or reality), but the freshly minted 26-year-old's still pretty darn good. Like a Sami Zayn type, if I can borrow from the WWE again.

The offense as a whole is scoring more points (27.2 ppg) than last year (24.6).  Darrell Henderson , Malcolm Brown and rookie  Cam Akers  have done a good job of replacing  Todd Gurley , though it's a tough backfield for fantasy managers to navigate. I'll see if I can talk to McVay about that. Meanwhile,  Robert Woods ,  Cooper Kupp ,  Gerald Everett  and  Tyler Higbee  comprise about as solid a pass-catching group as you can ask for. Most importantly, though, the big guys up front have rebounded from a disastrous, injury-riddled 2019 campaign that saw the offensive line finish the regular season as Pro Football Focus' second-worst unit. In 2020, the Rams' O-line boasts top-10 grades in both run- and pass-blocking.

Let's talk about that defense, though. This is what unquestionably separates the Rams from their division rival Seahawks. And while the Packers definitely possess a better defense than Seattle, they don't have anybody like Aaron Donald. Nobody does. In fact, with everyone throwing around early MVP candidates these days, Donald deserves to be in that conversation. He tied a career-high with four sacks in last week's blowout of the Washington Football Team . With a league-high 7.5 sacks, he's on pace for 24, which would break Hall of Famer Michael Strahan's single-season mark (22.5). The Rams, who are 10-1 in the McVay era when they have at least five sacks, finished Sunday with eight sacks -- and they have 17 over the past three weeks. They also limited the Football Team to 108 yards total . That's the fewest yards the franchise has yielded in a game since holding the Archie Manning-led Saints to 96 in November of 1980. In addition to Donald, the Rams boast one of the very best cover men in the game today:  Jalen Ramsey, the 25-year-old with three Pro Bowls nods and the biggest DB contract in NFL history. Not a bad guy to have in today's pass-happy league.

And one thing that really stands out to me: Sean McVay's team does not blow leads. Like, ever. The Rams are 29-0 when leading at halftime in the McVay era -- the only NFL team without such a loss since 2017. I know Falcons fans are probably asking what that is like, because it's a world they've never known. But it's so impressive to me and shows that the high praise we give McVay might not be effusive enough.

So, even with one loss -- and it shouldn't have been a loss, but whatever -- give me the Rams over any other team in the NFC.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @AdamRank.

 by Curly Horns
1 week ago
 Total posts:   64  
 Joined:  Jan 17 2017
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Practice Squad

They also limited the Football Team to 108 yards total . That's the fewest yards the franchise has yielded in a game since holding the Archie Manning-led Saints to 96 in November of 1980.


In 1979, the Rams beat Seattle 24-0 – The Seahawks total offense that day was -7 yards, the worst performance that the league has ever seen.

 by ramsman34
1 week ago
 Total posts:   4579  
 Joined:  Apr 16 2015
United States of America   Back in LA baby!
Superstar

I posted this in the whiners thread as well. Keep living up to the hype, Rams.

 by PARAM
1 week ago
 Total posts:   5677  
 Joined:  Jul 15 2015
Barbados   Just far enough North of Philadelphia
Hall of Fame

Funny guy. I particularly liked the parts about the gauntlet Green Bay has had to navigate and how Falcon fans must feel.

I liked what he wrote. And if we aren't the best team in the NFC right now we could well be in a few weeks. It's easy to forget Kizer only has 4 NFL starts on his ledger. Fuller has been a great pick after 3 or 4 starts. Darius Williams has continued where he left off last year. He's a stud. JJ is back, Ramsey is great and Aaron Donald is having the best start of his illustrious career. Plus we haven't even seen much of T. Lewis, who could be a better pick than Fuller.

On the offensive side, what can we say? Much improved.

Of course we haven't played anybody of significance except Buffalo. And in the next three weeks not very much changes there. But after the bye, we will see exactly what this team is made of against the West, Tampa and New England. Bring em on!!!

 by ramsman34
1 week ago
 Total posts:   4579  
 Joined:  Apr 16 2015
United States of America   Back in LA baby!
Superstar

I agree although I think Miami is going to be a tougher out than most think. Chicago is 4-1 and has Foles - our own personal Nemesis.

That said, the Rams are better than their next 3 opponents. To expect them to beat them all is not unrealistic. One game at a time but ya, after the bye, we really start getting tested. I hope we are 7-1 when we face the shesquats.

 by CanuckRightWinger
1 week ago
 Total posts:   1510  
 Joined:  Jan 13 2016
Canada   VANCOUVER, BC
Pro Bowl

I remember that 1979 game in the long ago demolished Kingdome in Seattle where Ray Malavasi's Los Ramos held a normally plucky Seahawks team to -7 total yards.

The bad news that day was we lost our starting QB Pat Haden when he slid after a run and his pinky finger of his throwing hand got caught in a seam in the turf/carpet. :cry2:

Enter Vinnie Ferragamo!!

....AND the Best Postgame Line came from flamboyant Freddie Dryer, #89 on yer programs ladies and gentlemen.....when a media guy asked Dryer "What does it feel like to hold the opposing team to negative yardage for the whole game?"

Fred Dryer replied:
"It's like when the bar is closing at 2AM and a beautiful woman walks in.....and smiles at you!" 8-)

I miss Freddie Dryer and his humour....and his irreverence!! :idea2: :arrow2: :!2:

 by aeneas1
1 week ago
 Total posts:   14438  
 Joined:  Sep 13 2015
United States of America   Norcal
Hall of Fame

pretty tough to figure out who's a pretender and who isn't at this point in the season...

the 4 teams in the nfc with 4-1 records or better have played a combined 19 games of which only 4 were against winning teams - seattle hasn't faced a team with a winning record, the packers and rams have only faced 1 each, while bears have faced 2.

then you have det, min, was and atl who own a combined 3-16 record - each has faced 4 teams with a winning record.

all told, the nfc is a combined 5-34 against teams with a winning record thru week 5. :shock2:

gby and sea are putting up a ton of points but their defenses look suspect at best... tampa is interesting at 3-2 - they've faced 3 teams with a winning record and have the 11th ranked scoring offense and 2nd ranked defense in points allowed.

gotta love sfo - like the rams they've only faced 1 team with a winning record yet they're sitting at 2-3 while the rams are at 4-1.

i'd feel a lot better about the rams right now if the offense would have fared much better against the cowboys' dead last ranked defense in points allowed, and the giants defense for that matter given the niners' b team hung 36 on them, and i'd also feel better if the d hadn't allowed allen and the bills to hang 35 on them... that said, the rams defense held the then high scoring dallas offense to just 20 and has been solid outside of the bills game.

for as much praise as the rams offense has been getting it hasn't looked dominant to me, instead it's looked inconsistent, especially in terms of finishing drives... the rams offense ranked 2nd best in scoring in 2017 with a 27.2 per game average, that average would rank 13th thru week 5 of the 2020 season, behind the rams current average of 27.4.

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 by PARAM
1 week ago
 Total posts:   5677  
 Joined:  Jul 15 2015
Barbados   Just far enough North of Philadelphia
Hall of Fame

The Giants game was an enigma. Every game we held the TOP advantage except vs the Giants.
35:38, 31:13, 32:12, 26:42, 35:35
Every game we put up 400+ yards except the Giants.
422, 449,478, 240, 429
Oddly enough, only 1 game did we hold the turnover advantage (Philly)
-1, +2, E, E, -1
In every game, we've held the opponent under 400 yards
380, 363, 375, 295, 108
I give them a pass for only scoring 20 against Dallas because it was the first game of the season. I give them a pass for their lousy offensive showing against the Giants. It was a trap game. And though the offense was flat, the defense won the day. Complimentary football.

Having said that, going forward, they are going to have to be much sharper and much more consistent on offense. The last two weeks, albeit against two lousy football teams, the defense has averaged allowing 202 total yards and 9.5 points. San Francisco, banged up or not, will be their first true test. Division opponent. Arch rival (you can throw out the records, etc). Defending NFC Champions. McVay vs. Shanahan. Prime time. This game is huge and they need a complete game on both sides of the ball.

What sucks about SNF is waiting all day for the game.

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14 posts Oct 25 2020