Saturday, September 11, 2021

Los Angeles Rams Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 6.0 (T-5th)
  • Best ranking: 5th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 8th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Rams in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 8

Person on the hot seat: C Brian Allen

When the Rams opened training camp, Allen appeared to be second in a competition with Austin Corbett to earn the starting job at center. But midway through camp, coach Sean McVay bumped Allen to starter, and now the fourth-year pro must prove he can excel on a team that has Super Bowl aspirations. A fourth-round pick in 2018, Allen is entering the final season of his rookie contract and does not have an extension in place. He started at center in 2019 and had uneven results in nine games before suffering a season-ending knee injury, and he did not play in 2020. -- Lindsey Thiry -- Rank: 5

The Rams didn't have a dependable deep threat to help stretch the field last season, and color us skeptical that DeSean Jackson is the solution in 2021. "It's amazing the way he's able to still run," Sean McVay raved about the 34-year-old during a press conference last month. "He knows his body really well." The problem is we know about Jackson's body, too: The veteran has appeared in just eight games in the past two years as he's dealt with core, ankle and hamstring ailments. That unfortunate aspect of the D-Jax experience is unlikely to dissipate as he gets older.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 6

Matt Stafford brings his gunslinging mentality to the offense. That's a good thing. The defense should again be among the best, which is why some are picking the Rams to be a Super team.

USA Today -- Rank: 6

They have concerning holes on last year's top-ranked defense and won't have No. 1 RB Cam Akers (Achilles). But the arrival of QB Matthew Stafford, who remained under wraps in preseason, continues to fuel Super Bowl aspirations ... even though he's never won a playoff game.

The Athletic -- Rank: 5

Why they're ranked here: Confidence is high that Matthew Stafford will be rejuvenated by working with Sean McVay. The belief is that the floor to Stafford's play is high enough to get the Rams' offense back into the top 10 after slipping to No. 22 in points a year ago. The Rams are a darling preseason pick after the trade for Stafford and one person on our panel chose them as the No. 2 team.

One big question: Can the defense still be dominant? Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey are the best players at their respective positions and the scheme is still solid, but the Rams are on their third defensive coordinator in three years after Brandon Staley left to become Chargers coach.

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