Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Los Angeles Rams Week 3 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Los Angeles Rams rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 9.0 (9th)
  • Best ranking: 7th (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 13th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 3 roundup for the Rams in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 9

What we learned: Sean McVay might have his fastball back. The Rams' offensive efficiency -- they ranked 16th last season -- played a big role in the team's disappointing 9-7 record last season. But Sunday brought back memories of the 2018 Rams offense. When McVay's scheme is working, it's run game, play-action, pre-snap motion and bootlegs that have defenders often looking in the wrong spots. That's exactly what we saw against the Eagles. Jared Goff completed his first 13 passes, finishing 20-for-27 for 267 yards and three touchdowns. The Rams strung together five touchdown drives and punted just twice. In the third quarter, with the game close, the usually conservative McVay went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Rams' 29, and the offense converted. It was a clear sign from McVay that he felt like their offense couldn't be stopped. Through two weeks, just 6.9 percent of Goff's attempts have been tight-window throws (defined as having a defender within 1 yard of the receiver). That's the lowest percentage for any starter. The play-caller's job is to set up the quarterback for success. McVay is doing that at a high level right now.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 8

Sean McVay has this team rolling after two games. Maybe all those coaching changes were really important, like he said. Jared Goff is off to a good start.

USA Today -- Rank: 13

Since Sean McVay became the coach in 2017, L.A. has won all five of its 1 p.m. ET kickoffs and scored at least 30 points every time. Rams will be in Buffalo on Sunday hoping to extend that streak to 6-0.

ESPN -- Rank: 7

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Tyler Higbee

Higbee finished 2019 on a hot streak, accumulating 522 receiving yards over the final five games, though he wasn't necessarily a go-to end zone target for Jared Goff, catching only two touchdown passes in that span. But after the Rams dominated the Eagles thanks to three touchdown receptions by Higbee -- equaling his total touchdowns from the entire 2019 season -- look for Goff to find the 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end near the goal line more often. -- Lindsey Thiry -- Rank: 8

The Rams are now 27-0 in games they've led at halftime under Sean McVay. Contrast that with a team like the Lions, who are 2-7-1 in games they've led by at least 10 points since 2019. A lot of that goes back to coaching, and L.A. has one of the very best in the big chair. Misdirection, tempo, play-action -- McVay and offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell are throwing everything at the opposition in an impressive 2-0 start. How varied has the attack been? In Sunday's win over the Eagles, seven Rams had rushing attempts. Six players had two receptions or more. The best of them was tight end Tyler Higbee, who finished with three touchdown grabs delivered by a locked-in Jared Goff. Who wants to play this team right now?

Previous update: Los Angeles Rams Week 2 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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