There are times when I read the mass amounts of information that are shared with me and just shake my head.
This is one of them.
Last week, I posted about Mike Sando of ESPN picking the Cardinals as the team that got measurably worse in the 2017 offseason, of course he did a really nice job of hedging that saying he could see them winning more games this season.
Well, the NFL Insiders at ESPN have added another topic, this time non playoff teams from 2016 who will make the 2017 NFL Playoffs.
For those unaware, the Arizona Cardinals were not a playoff team in 2016, so they seemed like a good candidate for this... Nope, two writers did pick another NFC West team though: Dan Graziano and Aaron Schatz each picked the Los Angeles Rams, yes those Rams, to make the 2017 field.
I like the Los Angeles Rams. Coordinator Wade Phillips' impact on the defense and head coach Sean McVay's intelligence and energy will be enough to vault them to their first winning season since 2003. Also helping their case: The Cardinals are due for a downturn and Seattle's ship looked a little leaky last year. Obviously, there's some concern about how Jared Goff meshes with the new coaching staff and learns a whole new system. But I'll give that staff and running back Todd Gurley the benefit of the doubt. Don't underestimate the impact of veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth on the offensive line, either.
I'm driving the Rams bandwagon this year. OK, I guess it's more of a minivan, but more folks should be hopping aboard once they realize Phillips' phenomenal record of improving defenses in his first year as coordinator. (I wrote about that in detail here.) The offense isn't going to be good, but there's no way it will be as bad as last year. The 2016 Rams had the fourth-worst offense in the history of our DVOA stats, which stretches all the way back to 1987. The other teams in the bottom dozen improved by an average of three wins the next year, and three of those teams had winning records.
Look, I get that the Fisher to McVay move is a plus automatically, especially with Wade Phillips coming over, but Jared Goff is making that big of a jump?
I guess the additions on the offensive line help drive this idea, but this is crazy to me.
Year one of a new regime?
I guess it worked for the Arizona Cardinals.