NFL analyst projects LA Rams as sub-par in latest NFL Power Rankings

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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17 - Los Angeles Rams (2023 finished 11th)

The LA Rams finished the 2023 NFL season with a remarkable 10-7 record. That was due to opening last year with a 3-6 record, but then getting white hot to close out the year with a 7-1 run that shot them into the 2024 NFL Playoffs. Many of the factors that contributed to that burst of late season is back:

  • NT Kobie Turner and his 9.0 QB sacks
  • OLB Byron Young and his 8.0 QB sacks
  • RG Kevin Dotson who earned a start in Week 4
  • RB Kyren Williams who put up 1144 yards and 12 TDs in just 12 games
  • WR Puka Nacua who shattered the NFL All-Time rookie receiving records
  • ILB Ernest Jones with his 145 tackles. 4.5 QB sacks, and six pass breakups

Even as the team did lose All-Pro Aaron Donald to retirement, it is clear that the front office has a plan with a rookie draft class that boasts OLBs Jared Verse and Brennan Jackson, as well as defensive linemen Braden Fiske and Tyler Davis. And that is merely the defensive line of scrimmage.

How can anyone ignore the fact that the offense has converted the sunday punch of RB Kyren Williams running ability into the 1-2 punch of Williams now paired up with RB Blake Corum? The team struggled to score without Williams healthy, which will not be the case in 2024.

And the Rams did a complete makeover to the secondary, adding veteran expertise with a ball-hawking twist that will frustrate opposing quarterbacks all season long. The team may be even stronger in 2024, despite the retirement of Aaron Donald.

2 - San Francisco 49ers (2023 finished 3nd)

The San Francisco 49ers were very good in 2023, and there is no point in denying that. But after reaching the lofty heights last season, can this team remain perched at that high vantage point? I'm not so sure. While I do not believe that the latest buzz about WR Brandon Aiyuk's demands for more money will force the team to trade WR Deebo Samuel to pay him, it did distract the front office long enough to invest in WR Ricky Pearsall.

This is a team whose bread and butter lies in dominating at the line of scrimmage. But their offensive linemen turned one year older, and the 49ers continue to swap parts on the roster. Not all moves will spell disaster to the team. But it doesn't take much to loosen the grip on the top berth in the NFC. That is likely to take place in 2024.

No matter how the 49ers stock their receiver room, this offense is based on the run. In the end, the 49ers remain a very good team. It's just that the LA Rams have gotten better and have surpassed them this year.

As always, thanks for reading.