NFL Power Rankings Week 3 summary
Great start to the season for the Los Angeles Rams at 2-0 in convincing fashion.
If the win over the Dallas Cowboys didn't convince, this one felt more compelling because of the comprehensiveness of the beating. Were it not for the late first half fumble from Cooper Kupp returning a punt, the scoreline would've been more accurate at reflecting the performance thereof.
This week saw the Rams creep into the top 10 (8.75 on average). A tough matchup looms in Week 3 on the road against the Buffalo Bills, but at least for now the Rams can enjoy a quick climb up the rankings.
Under-the-radar fantasy standout: TE Tyler Higbee
Higbee finished 2019 on a hot streak, accumulating 522 receiving yards over the final five games, though he wasn't necessarily a go-to end zone target for Jared Goff, catching only two touchdown passes in that span. But after the Rams dominated the Eagles thanks to three touchdown receptions by Higbee -- equaling his total touchdowns from the entire 2019 season -- look for Goff to find the 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end near the goal line more often.
The Rams are now 27-0 in games they've led at halftime under Sean McVay. Contrast that with a team like the Lions, who are 2-7-1 in games they've led by at least 10 points since 2019. A lot of that goes back to coaching, and L.A. has one of the very best in the big chair. Misdirection, tempo, play-action -- McVay and offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell are throwing everything at the opposition in an impressive 2-0 start. How varied has the attack been? In Sunday's win over the Eagles, seven Rams had rushing attempts. Six players had two receptions or more. The best of them was tight end Tyler Higbee, who finished with three touchdown grabs delivered by a locked-in Jared Goff. Who wants to play this team right now?
Sean McVay did a great job self-scouting in the offseason. The Rams’ offensive revival has been due to many factors, including the use of faster tempo, spreading the ball around, less predictability in personnel groupings and also committing to making late 2019 breakout Tyler Higbee a focal point of the offense. There’s a reason McVay is so highly respected.
Sean McVay has this team rolling after two games. Maybe all those coaching changes were really important, like he said. Jared Goff is off to a good start.
They’re handling teams from the NFC East; what will they do against the teams of the NFC West?
The Rams’ offensive turnaround through the first two weeks of the season is pretty remarkable, given the extent to which the rest of the league appeared to figure Sean McVay out and turn Jared Goff into a pumpkin as a result. Last season, even Goff’s beloved play-action passes weren’t paying dividends, as he threw four touchdowns and five picks out of play-action after posting 16 touchdowns to two picks with play-action the year before.
This season, McVay has been more multiple and creative with pre-snap motion, which has helped Goff clear the muddy defensive pictures, and as a result, he absolutely killed the Eagles with play-action in a 37-19 win.
Add that to a defense that demolished Carson Wentz, and you have a team that has rolled out of the gate as a more formidable opponent than many expected.
Sean McVay’s offense is evolving to again puzzle the defenses that rose up to stop him in 2019. If Jared Goff gets comfortable enough to go vertical consistently, the NFC West will solidify itself as the toughest division in football.
Since Sean McVay became the coach in 2017, L.A. has won all five of its 1 p.m. ET kickoffs and scored at least 30 points every time. Rams will be in Buffalo on Sunday hoping to extend that streak to 6-0.