Thursday, September 21, 2023

Los Angeles Rams Week 3 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 3 roundup for the Los Angeles Rams in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 20

Player: RB Cam Akers
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Akers was a healthy scratch on Sunday, a move Rams head coach Sean McVay called a "coach's decision." Akers, a 2020 second-round pick, is playing on the final year of his rookie contract and will be a free agent after the season. The question will be whether he finishes this contract with the Rams. This seems unlikely after McVay told reporters Monday that general manager Les Snead has spoken with "a handful of teams" about a trade for Akers and "that's the direction that we're headed." Kyren Williams has now emerged as the team's lead back. Akers, who had three games with at least 100 rushing yards to end the 2022 season, had 29 yards on 22 carries in Week 1. -- Sarah Barshop -- Rank: 24

Some Rams fans nudged me about ranking this team 26th last week, and you know what? I agree with them, even after a loss. I didn't trust what I saw in Week 1's win over the Seahawks, but Sunday's showing in a loss to San Francisco confirmed a few things:
  1. Sean McVay can still coach.
  2. Matthew Stafford still has it (even taking into account the second-half picks).
  3. The Puka Nacua hype is for real.
Nacua's talent was never really in question. He was a four-star recruit who made big plays at Washington and BYU, and in the Senior Bowl. The question was his health. But if that holds up, adding him to the mix with Cooper Kupp (once he returns to the lineup) might be even better than cloning Kupp. The Rams are far from perfect, but I highly underestimated many aspects of this roster.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 23

They competed against the 49ers, which they will do against most teams this year. But they are just too undermanned this season.

USA Today -- Rank: 14

If you had RB Kyren Williams and WRs Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell forming one of the league's most productive offensive trios after two games, then you can buy me Powerball tickets.

The Athletic -- Rank: 9

This spot is a vote for Sean McVay. A Rams team that was left for dead in the preseason is second in yards per game (406) and fifth in offensive EPA per play (.12) and is being paced by fifth-round rookie Puka Nacua at wide receiver. Nacua leads the NFL with 25 catches and is second with 266 yards. He was targeted 20 times Sunday alone.

FOX -- Rank:

I think I feel better about the Rams after a 30-23 loss to San Francisco than I did after a 30-13 win against Seattle. The 49ers are as complete a team and as tough a defense as you'll find, and the Rams didn't blink. Two turnovers proved to be the difference, but this young roster should take some pride in such a strong showing against an NFC heavyweight.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 25

The Sean McVay-Cam Akers on again/off again relationship is wild. This is the second straight season Akers has been buried, with trade rumors flying. Last season, Akers reemerged to become a difference-making back down the stretch. That seems unlikely this season, but who knows.

PFT -- Rank: 23

No, a meaningless field goal to cover the spread does not make a difference for these purposes.

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