Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Los Angeles Rams Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 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 1 roundup for the Los Angeles Rams in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 3

Who's on the hot seat: S Taylor Rapp

It's hard to be on the hot seat just six months after your team won the Super Bowl. But if there is a candidate, it could be Rapp, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract. The Rams have not typically re-signed safeties to big contracts, instead opting to try to find younger players to take over. Los Angeles drafted safeties Quentin Lake (sixth round) and Russ Yeast II (seventh round), so the team may choose to move on from Rapp when he hits free agency. -- Rank: 2

How's the quarterback feeling? Yeah, yeah, we know. Everyone connected to the Rams has downplayed concerns about Matthew Stafford's health. But here are the facts: Stafford, 34, played through an elbow injury last season, underwent a procedure on the elbow during the offseason, then had his workload managed carefully through the summer. It will be interesting to see where Stafford stands physically if he finds himself in a shootout with Josh Allen that requires him to throw 40 BBs on Thursday night. Again, the Rams have dismissed this as a serious concern. It's probably fine! But real football brings out realities that teams can usually hide during the summer. We're still tracking.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 4

They are again loaded with stars, but they are now the hunted. That's a tough road to navigate. Matthew Stafford's elbow has to be concerning.

The Athletic -- Rank: 1

The good news: Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey seem like a good Advil-and-Gatorade combination to stave off a possible Super Bowl hangover, while Sean McVay has won at least nine games in each of his first five seasons as head coach. Veteran additions Bobby Wagner and Allen Robinson give the team some fresh juice.

The bad news: Mystery elbow injuries are not ideal for middle-aged quarterbacks coming off a season in which they threw the most passes of their career (including playoffs).

Nugget to remember: Based on Las Vegas' projected win totals, the Rams have the second-toughest schedule in the league. The road to a repeat will not be smooth.

The Ringer -- Rank: 5

Losing Von Miller to Buffalo and veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth to retirement this offseason is the late-night boxed wine behind what could be a Super Bowl hangover. Add in the scare that is the Matthew Stafford elbow injury and several other departed starters (e.g. Robert Woods, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Austin Corbett) and uncertainty about Odell Beckham Jr.'s status, and the Rams might as well be mixing in cheap tequila shots. But there's still too much talent on this team, especially when factoring in the additions of Allen Robinson II and Bobby Wagner and the return of safety Troy Hill, to completely fall off a cliff. The Rams have major star power with Cooper Kupp, Jalen Ramsey, and Aaron Donald, and that's reason for optimism, but I believe the Buccaneers and Packers are still better positioned to win the NFC.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 2

Matthew Stafford's sore elbow got a lot of attention in August, but there doesn't seem to be much concern heading into the season. It's worth watching if he's not quite 100 percent early, but as of now it appears Stafford should be fine.

PFT -- Rank: 1

Good news, the defending champs always start on top. Bad news, there's only one direction to go.

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