Can Rams' defense lead them to a championship?

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The Rams under coach Jeff Fisher have never tried to hide their priorities when it comes to building the roster. Fisher covets a top-flight defense, complemented by a power running game with occasional help from a play-action passing game.

To this point the plan hasn't worked, as the Rams have yet to post even a .500 season in the four-year Fisher regime. But for those looking for encouragement that such a plan can lead to a championship, look no further than the Denver Broncos, who claimed Super Bowl 50 last weekend.

The Broncos won the Lombardi Trophy largely because of a dominant defense. ESPN columnist Kevin Seifert explored the idea that an elite defense can carry a team to a title.

It's a good read, and offers some numbers on what top defenses can do. Is it easier than having an elite quarterback leading a good offense? No, but it at least offers an alternative for the many teams that can't find such signal-callers.

From a Rams' perspective, the lesson should be this: while they've built a strong defense, it's not nearly good enough to carry the team to the playoffs let alone a Super Bowl. And with the offense being one of the least productive in the NFL, well, you consistently get mediocre finishes.

It puts the Rams in an interesting spot, because the defense looks much closer to being elite than the Rams are to landing a franchise quarterback. So yes, defenses can win championships. But more often than not, if that defense isn't complemented by at least a mid-level offense, it needs to be a historically great unit if it's going to end the season with the ultimate prize.


A roundup of Thursday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... We began the morning with a look back at how the Rams' 2015 draft class fared in its first season and where it goes from here. ... The Ram-blings took a glance at some of the user-submitted uniform concepts for the Rams' return to Los Angeles. ... Lakers legend Magic Johnson attempted to recruit Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning to become a Ram on "The Tonight Show."


* This is a tremendous read from Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. on how the Rams returned to Los Angeles.

* Mike Sando posits that the Rams could be a possible landing spot for quarterback Robert Griffin III.

* Jemele Hill says the Texans would be a better team for Manning than the Rams.

* NFL Nation offered 32 players who could use a change of scenery.

* At 101sports.com, Randy Karraker and Bernie Miklasz discussed Orlando Pace's entrance to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

* At stltoday.com, a federal lawsuit has been filed to seek reimbursement from the Rams for personal seat licenses.

* Pro Football Focus has two Rams in the top six of the best free agent cornerbacks available this offseason.