NFC West Power Rankings: Week Four

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1 – St. Louis Rams, 2-2 (Last Week: 2)

(EDITORS NOTE: CAPTION CORRECTION) Oct 4, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) reacts after a defensive stand against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Rams won 24-22. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In the words of the legendary Ric Flair, “to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man”. In week four, the Rams beat the lone undefeated team left in the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals, 24-22, to become the man in these power rankings.

Rookie running back Todd Gurley looked every bit of the 10th overall pick, as he exploded in his second career game, and first career start. On 19 carries, Gurley piled up 146 yards, a very impressive 7.7 yard per carry average. As a result, quarterback Nick Foles was allowed to play a little more safe, and it worked for him. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 171 yards and three scores.

The defense gave up a lot of yardage to the NFL’s best scoring offense, as Arizona gained 447 total yards. St. Louis was able to counteract that by totaling four timely sacks, and forcing three turnovers, including a fumble recovered on the opening kickoff.

They did suffer a big loss on Sunday, however. Linebacker Alec Ogletree, one of the defensive leaders, suffered a fractured ankle that will require surgery, and he is most likely done for the season. That is a big blow for the defense, which has already been inconsistent this season.

St. Louis is now 2-0 within the division, the lone unbeaten in the NFC West, and has beaten the Seahawks and the Cardinals, the two teams that figured to be the leaders of the pack in the division. But in week five, the Rams have to go into Lambeau Field to take on the Packers, who are just about unbeatable at home in recent years. Against one of the heavyweights in the NFC, the Rams will be able to prove if they’re a true contender or not.

Next: NFC West Power Rankings: Week Three