LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Rams are really good. This much is no longer debatable. They're 8-3 with a plus-123 point differential that stands as the second-highest mark in the NFL. They're ranked third on ESPN's Power Rankings despite ranking 27th when the season began. Their Super Bowl odds are 14-to-1 after opening at 100-to-1. Can we just hand Sean McVay the Coach of the Year trophy already? (Do they get a trophy?)
The Rams, who have already clinched their first non-losing season since 2006, have scored the second-most points and allowed the seventh-fewest. Defense-adjusted Value Over Average -- or DVOA, a Football Outsiders metric that measures a team's success on a given play versus what would have been expected given several factors -- has them ranked sixth on offense, fifth on defense and second on special teams.
The Rams aren't just good; they're well-rounded, young and, relatively speaking, healthy. They've already done what few would've ever imagined and now stand as the No. 3 seed in their conference, with a one-game lead on the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. Below, we identified 11 stats that help tell the story of the resurgent, mystifying 2017 Rams through their first 11 games.
515: The number of yards Todd Gurley has racked up on rushing attempts before first contact, second-most in the NFL. Only the Buffalo Bills' LeSean McCoy (549) has more. This is crucial, because so many other factors are at play here. It's a product of a better offensive line, a better receiving corps, a better scheme and a better quarterback. Last year, in five more games, Gurley compiled 442 yards before first contact, ranked 20th.
62: The number of quarterback pressures by Aaron Donald, according to Pro Football Focus. Donald leads the NFL, even though he spent the entire summer holding out and did not play in the Rams' first regular-season game. The 62 pressures are seven more than the next interior lineman (the Cincinnati Bengals' Geno Atkins) and four more than the next defensive player (the Los Angeles Chargers' Joey Bosa). Donald has a team-high six sacks, but that doesn't even begin to describe his impact on the entire defense.
129: The number of points scored by kicker Greg Zuerlein. That's 18 more than the second-place Stephen Gostkowski. Zuerlein is on pace for 188 points, which would break the record of 186 set by Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006. Zuerlein has made 32 of 34 field-goal attempts, including five of six from 50 or more yards.
8.2: Jared Goff's yards per passing attempt. It's the third-best mark in the NFL, behind only the Houston Texans' Deshaun Watson (8.33 in seven games before landing on injured reserve) and the New England Patriots' Tom Brady (8.27). Goff averaged only 5.3 yards per attempt last year. His 2.9-yard increase is on pace to be the largest year-to-year improvement since John Brodie from 1960 to 1961, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (minimum 200 attempts).
25.0: This is the passer rating from opposing quarterbacks when targeting safety Lamarcus Joyner, according to data compiled by Pro Football Focus. That's the second-lowest mark at his position (minimum 19 targets). Joyner excelled as a slot corner the past two years -- a position he'll still play intermittently -- and has been outstanding at safety this season. Pro Football Focus gives him the ninth-highest grade for a safety in the NFL.
29.71: Pharoh Cooper's average yards per kickoff return, which accounts for the best rate in the NFL. One of those was returned for a touchdown. Since replacing Tavon Austin in Week 6, Cooper is also averaging 12.06 yards per punt return, ranked third. Each week, Cooper -- a fourth-round pick out of South Carolina in 2016 -- seems to grow a little bit more comfortable as a returner.
9.55: Yards per play on screen passes, the second-highest mark in the NFL -- trailing only McVay's former team in Washington, which is averaging 9.95 yards on screens. If you've watched the Rams this year, you know that the screen game -- a lot of which comes off play action -- has been huge for them. Play action, in general, has been an important weapon too. The Rams are averaging 8.41 yards per play on play action, ranked 12th.
19: Turnovers forced by the Rams' defense, tied for fifth-most in the NFL and one more than it forced all of last season. The Rams didn't come up with any turnovers Sunday, but they could've -- should've -- had at least three interceptions against New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is a master at creating pressure and letting his linebackers and defensive backs make plays on the ball. The Rams have 12 interceptions, also tied for fifth.
5.15: The number of yards allowed per punt return from the Rams' coverage unit, the sixth-lowest mark in the NFL. A lot of the credit for that goes to Johnny Hekker, a three-time First Team All-Pro. Hekker set a record last year for punts downed inside the 20-yard line. But he attempted 98 punts that season, second-most in the NFL. This year, 27 players have attempted more punts than Hekker. And that's as good a sign as any for the Rams' offense.
28.6: The percentage of times an opponent's drive has ended in a touchdown or field goal. That's the fifth-lowest mark in the NFL, and it's a good measure for the overall effectiveness of a defense (though field position certainly plays a factor here, too). The Rams' defense is allowing 1.55 points per drive, which ranks sixth. As Phillips said last week, while somewhat dismissing his unit's struggles defending the run, "Points are the key thing."
11.58: Yards before first contact per reception. It's the highest mark in the NFL. What does it tell us? That Rams receivers have a lot of room to run after the catch -- which means they're very open, which means McVay's scheme is creating a bevy of explosive plays. The Rams had 8.72 yards before first contact per reception last year, which ranked 29th.