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Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 20 St. Louis Rams

By Nick Wagoner

A weekly examination of the Rams' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 15 | Last Week: 19 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Maybe the Rams flew too close to the sun by moving up a spot to No. 19 last week after spending the previous three weeks at No. 20. A blowout loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks immediately bumped the Rams back to No. 20, a place that apparently feels more like home for them.

The voters didn't react too harshly to the Rams' loss, but half of the six-member panel pegged St. Louis right at No. 20. Dan Graziano had the lowest number on the Rams, putting them at No. 21 while Mike Sando offered the most love for them in placing them 18th in his rankings.

After finishing 7-9 on the season, the Rams fell five spots short of their preseason Power Ranking expectation. That won't mean much to them in the grand scheme of things, but the biggest worry for them might come in the form of the final position of the rest of the NFC West division.

Seattle (No. 1), San Francisco (No. 4) and Arizona (No. 9) all finished in the top 10. I do believe the Rams are a better team now than they were a year ago at this time, but it's quite clear that the rest of the division is at a level or two above them right now. If the Rams want to climb to a higher place next year, they're going to have to make the most of the coming offseason.