<
>

Power Rankings: No. 24 St. Louis Rams

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- It's that time of year again where the ESPN Power Rankings become a weekly staple.

Earlier Tuesday, the first edition of the 2014 season's rankings came out with even more panelists weighing in this year. The St. Louis Rams checked in at No. 24 on the initial list, well behind the rest of the NFC West.

When the Power Rankings last appeared, it was after May's NFL draft and the Rams received more love from the voters. At the time, the Rams were No. 18 on the list. By all accounts, the Rams received rave reviews for their draft and were sitting close to being right in the middle of the pack.

So what's changed since then? Obviously, there's little doubt the Rams dropped those six spots in large part because of the loss of quarterback Sam Bradford to a season-ending ACL injury. Dropping them to 24 seems a bit extreme from my view considering they still want to be a team that wins with a strong running game and defense.

Elsewhere in the division, Seattle keeps its spot at No. 1 with San Francisco at No. 4 and Arizona at No. 14.

The good news is that any sort of polls or rankings don't have any effect on what the postseason will eventually look like. Even better, the time for speculating will soon be a thing of the past. After this week, these rankings can take into account meaningful football games and that's the best news of all.