The 2017 Rams have done a complete 360 turn from last year. They were another hopeless team that was a part of the low tier of talent that the NFL had to offer. They were right there at the bottom of the heap with the Browns, Niners, Jags, and Da Bears. But with the Jeff Fisher era behind us, the Rams fans from St. Louis/ LA finally have something to root for. So, with the Rams tied for first in the NFC West at 5-2 with the Seahawks, we have to ask ourselves: Are the Rams for real? Are they really as good as the numbers are saying they are?
Since the Rams are the Rams, I’m seeing that people are still doubting that this team can continue their success and make a run for this division. Offensively and defensively, it is easy to make a case that the Rams are the real deal and can become a team to beat in the NFC West.
With Jared Goff looking like a stud and putting his rookie year behind him, it’s safe to say that he has become a reliable quarterback in the NFL. He’s playing a lot smarter and more focused than last year. I think that this has a lot to do with Coach Sean McVay. In fact, I think a lot of the Rams offensive success has a lot to do with McVay. Him and Jared seem to be clicking really well. The Rams have seemed to handle the tough situations in the game a lot smarter than they have in the past.
The Rams are 1st overall in the league in 3rd down percentage converting at 49%. That stat shows a lot of grit. McVay shows that he knows how to keep a drive going and give the offense the best chance at scoring that it can.
In addition, we have the most points scored in the league (after week 7) with 212 and the league’s best kicker. I’ve said it every year, but Greg “the leg” Zuerlein finally has the numbers to prove it. He’s scored 84 points this year so far. With kickers missing more than ever, it’s become rare to have a kicker you can wholeheartedly rely on. And he has a sweet nickname.
Another difference from last year’s team is the new found weapons Jared Goff has to work with. With Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins, Tyler Higbee, and rookies Cooper Kupp and Gerald Everett in the mix, it seems that Jared always has someone he can rely on looking for. Even though I would like to see Watkins get involved way way way more than he has already, it’s still nice to know we have a deep field threat we can go to.
By now you should be thinking, BUT WHAT ABOUT TODD GURLEY?? I always say, you should save the best for last and that is exactly what Todd Gurley has been. After his sophomore slump, Gurley’s story was that he was the league’s biggest disappointment. For fantasy owners and Rams fans. People questioned, was his rookie year just a fluke or is he really that good? Ladies and gentlemen, he is really that good. Being the ground and air threat that he is, he’s easily been the difference maker in this #1 scoring offense.
I’m not a big defense guy and don’t have the confidence to really pick it apart and break it down, but it’s been good. Real good. The Rams have the biggest point differential in the league, which shows the Rams not only score points, but they also hold their opponent out of points. Coming off of the shut out in London against the division rival Cardinals, I’m excited to see what Wade Phillips is going to continue to show us. With big names like Trumaine Johnson in the secondary, and Robert Quinn, Connor Barwin, and Aaron Donald on the front, the Rams propose a scary defense that the league should respect.
To sum things up, YES the Rams are the real deal. This is a powerhouse team that will be able to compete with the big dogs as the year goes on. With the Giants coming up on the schedule this Sunday for the week 9 match-up, I am confident we’ll stay on top of the NFC West.