Rams' offense on pace to go from worst to first

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The rate at which the Los Angeles Rams are scoring isn't just impressive relative to what they did last season; it's impressive throughout NFL history.

From one year to the next, the Rams have gone from averaging an NFL-worst 14.0 points per game to, for now, an NFL-best 32.9 points per game. They're on pace to join the 1965 San Francisco 49ers as the only teams in history to go from last to first in scoring from one year to the next, according to research from the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Rams' 18.9-point increase from 2016 to 2017 is on pace to be the largest since the 1970 merger. That distinction currently belongs to the 1999 St. Louis Rams, who averaged 15.1 more points per game than they did in 1998 and went on to win the Super Bowl. They're followed by the 1975 Indianapolis Colts (14.6-point increase from the prior year) and the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs (13.7).

The Rams are hitting a tough portion of their schedule, with five of their next six games coming against winning teams. But what they've done leading up to that has been remarkable. Their 296 points for Sean McVay -- also helped by a spectacular defense and special teams -- is the second-most through a head coach's first nine career games in the Super Bowl era, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

McVay is topped only by the 354 points put up by the 2000 Rams in Mike Martz's first nine games. But Martz presided over The Greatest Show On Turf, whereas McVay took the controls for an offense that finished last in the NFL in every major category.

Martz got a shiny new Ferrari. McVay got a beat-up Ford Pinto and still made it work.