<
>

Using Nick Foles' place amongst starting quarterbacks to project Rams' win totals

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Earlier this summer, ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando posted his now annual quarterback tiers story. In it, he revealed how personnel types around the league view the starting quarterbacks for all 32 teams.

It's a popular and good read in and of itself. But Sando took things a step further Tuesday by diving into the numbers to see how each team's quarterback's spot on the tiers list correlates to projecting win totals for 2015. He used last year's performance by the quarterbacks in their respective tiers to see how they fared against teams starting quarterbacks in other tiers. That study showed the biggest drop off from the second tier to the third.

According to Sando's work, St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles gives the Rams a projected .428 winning percentage or 6.9 wins, which is 16th best in the NFL and falls right in line with Foles' spot in the third tier. He also notes that if Foles bumped into the second tier, the Rams would project to a total of 9.7 wins.

Clearly, it's a fine line between the tiers and opinions on quarterbacks including Foles will vary. But it's notable to use in the context of the Rams because there has been a lot of discussion about how having a healthy starting quarterback could improve the team's chances in 2015.

I.C.Y.M.I.

A roundup of Tuesday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we started the day with a look at the Rams' fantasy options. ... Receiver Brian Quick moved closer to a return when Jeff Fisher announced he will be going full contact in practice this week. ... The Rams preseason offensive struggles aren't cause for panic but the outside concerns are understandable. ... FOX broadcaster Joe Buck ripped the recent actions of Rams owner Stan Kroenke on Twitter. ... The Rams hired sixth-round pick Bud Sasser to work with alumni and other community initiatives. ... Running back Todd Gurley participated in his first full practice as a Ram. ... Updating Quick, Fisher said after practice that he will play Saturday night against the Colts.

Elsewhere:

At Grantland, Bill Barnwell rounds up the injuries plaguing various NFL training camps.

ESPN fantasy expert Eric Karabell examines possible breakout running backs.

Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett had some interesting things to say about quarterbacks and contracts.

At 101sports.com, Randy Karraker wonders whether Jeff Fisher can lead the Rams to a winning season.

At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas participated in his weekly chat.