Mailbag followup: Rams under Haslett

October, 23, 2008
10/23/08
11:15
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Brad from New Castle, Pa., wrote: I was just wondering if you had the numbers on where the rams rank on offense and defense these past two weeks only, in my mind that is how they should be represented, the 0-4 linehan start really hurts the team as far as these rankings go, because they are clearly a much better team then what they were just a few weeks ago

Mike Sando: I could figure it out by tallying yardage over the last two weeks. I could also get that from our research department, possibly. Let me work on that.

UPDATE: The Rams ranked 30th in offensive yards per game through the first five weeks of the season. They also rank 30th when we isolate only the sixth and seventh weeks.

The Rams ranked 31st on defense through the first five weeks. They have ranked 22nd over the last two weeks.

The offense is gaining about 16 additional yards per game during the two-game winning streak. The defense is allowing 57.3 fewer yards per game. That defensive figure would have been greater if the Cowboys hadn't gotten some cheap yards late in the game Sunday. But we have to figure that other teams also allowed cheap yardage.

A few other highlights in looking at the numbers:

  • The Titans, Browns, Jaguars, Texans and Vikings have improved by more than 100 yards per game on offense from the first five weeks to the last two weeks. Of those teams, the Browns, Texans and Vikings have played more than one game in the last two weeks.
  • The Seahawks have suffered the largest offensive decline in yards per game over the last two weeks, from 299.3 to 176.5. The difference is 122.8. The Broncos (116), Giants (108) and Cardinals (100.8) have also suffered triple-digit declines, although Arizona has played only one game.
  • On defense, the Packers have allowed 123.7 fewer yards per game over the last two weeks, the biggest reduction in the league. The Bucs (89.2), Redskins (85) and Jets (83) have also made gains of at least 80 yards.
  • Five defenses with two games played over the last two weeks have allowed increases of more than 100 yards per game: the Ravens (154), Dolphins (132.2), Giants (117.5), Bears (109.9) and Raiders (103.5).
  • Seattle is allowing 9 fewer yards per game over the last two weeks. The 49ers are allowing 16 fewer yards per game.
  • The Rams' defensive improvement over the last two weeks ranks seventh-best measured by yards per game allowed.

Thanks to Jonathan Costa of the ESPN Research for dialing up these numbers and passing them along.

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