What a difference a year -- and a new coaching regime -- has made for the Los Angeles Rams.
Through three games, including Thursday night's 41-39 thriller over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium, the Rams have looked like a team that can score in bunches and make crucial defensive stops when needed most. Quarterback Jared Goff is looking like a guy who deserved to go No. 1 overall in the 2016 draft, while RB Todd Gurley has looked far more like the 2015 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year than the 2016 sophomore dud. Sean McVay might be the youngest head coach in NFL history, but so far his offense -- which worked wonders with Redskins QB Kirk Cousins -- looks pretty sharp with Goff, Gurley and receivers Tavon Austin and Sammy Watkins.
The Rams already had one of the NFL's premier defensive players in defensive tackle Aaron Donald. But now, with Wade Phillips aboard as defensive coordinator, things have seemed noticeably different.
But how long will this last? Are the Rams for real?
ESPN's FPI isn't so optimistic about the Rams at the moment, giving them just a 20.5 percent chance of reaching the postseason and a 14.7 percent chance of winning the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks are still favored to win the division, with a 63.5 percent chance.
-- Brendan C. Hall