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This is a warning to the Los Angeles Rams: Whenever I write about a team that is surging at the top of these rankings, they usually go bad. So consider yourselves warned.

But here goes: The Rams are one of the most underrated stories of this NFL season, a story more and more people should be paying attention to as the season moves along.

The Rams, who most had picked as a potential last-place NFC West team, are now 8-7 and appear on their way to being a playoff team. They would be the sixth seed right now and would be the NFC wild card team that nobody wants to play. They are also up to No. 10 in my Power Rankings this week. 

The Rams won a Super Bowl two years ago, going all-in in terms of acquisitions and draft picks to do so. The thinking was they would be in a rebuild for a few years after that, even trading away star corner Jalen Ramsey this year. They also let several other veterans walk, guys like Leonard Floyd and Greg Gaines.

So what happened? 

They have built a defense around Aaron Donald and built the offense around Matthew Stafford, two of the high-priced stars still on the roster, to surge toward the postseason. They have supplemented it by drafting well and seeing a lot of young players get playing time and improve week by week.

The roster build is a really testament to general manager Les Snead. The development and record is a tribute to coach Sean McVay, who is proving once again why he's one of the best in the NFL.

The Rams added cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and guard Kevin Dotson and both veterans have become starters and major reasons why the Rams have improved in the secondary and up front on the offensive line.

But it's Snead's sharp drafting that has really impacted a team that badly needed it. In this year's draft, he added starting guard Steve Avila in the second round, defensive linemen Byron Young and Kobie Turner in the third. And the best pick of all, receiver Puka Nacua, came in fifth. Nacua is in the race to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year with 96 catches for 1,327 yards and five touchdowns. Young and Turner have combined for 12 1/2 sacks, with Turner actually having a 6 1/2 sacks, a half more than Donald.

When you combine Nacua with Cooper Kupp, a running game led by emerging star Kyren Williams, a Snead fifth-round pick from 2022, it's easy to see why Stafford is playing so well. In the past five games, Stafford has 14 touchdown passes and one pick. 

If the Rams stay in the sixth spot, there is a real chance they could be playing Stafford's former team, the Detroit Lions, on the road in the first round. It would also mean facing Jared Goff, the quarterback they traded away to get Stafford. That would be intriguing for sure. 

For now, though, it's about getting into the playoffs. They have games left with the Giants on the road this week and then close with the 49ers on the road.

The Rams are a great story this season. Let's just hope I didn't mush it by leading these Power Rankings extolling their accomplishments.  

Biggest Movers
6 Rams
4 Chiefs
1 Ravens Lamar Jackson stated his case as the league MVP in the blowout of the 49ers. The defense also came up big against a good offense. They are the top team. 1 13-4-0
2 Dolphins They are in the playoffs with their late rally against Dallas. They need to win at Baltimore this week to win the division. 1 11-6-0
3 49ers Brock Purdy suddenly looked like a player taken last in the draft against the Ravens. The defense got gutted as well, which is a bad look heading to the playoffs. 2 12-5-0
4 Lions They have won a division for the first time since 1993. They can now get ready for the playoffs, but they need to tighten up that defense. 1 12-5-0
5 Eagles They just don't look right, even when they win a game like they did against the Giants. They seem to be laboring at times. 1 11-6-0
6 Bills They didn't look great against the Chargers, but they found a way late. They have worked themselves back into being a playoff team right now. 1 11-6-0
7 Browns Joe Flacco has to be one of the surprise stories of the year. This team is legitimate as a potential deep playoff team. 2 11-6-0
8 Chiefs They have major offensive issues right now. They can't protect Patrick Mahomes and they don't scare down the field. They have problems. 4 11-6-0
9 Cowboys They have lost two straight to basically end their hopes of winning the division. So now it's time to get ready for the playoffs. 1 12-5-0
10 Rams It's hard to believe they are in the position they are in terms of the playoff race. Sean McVay can flat out coach. 6 10-7-0
11 Buccaneers Baker Mayfield is playing outstanding football. The Bucs have a real playoff shot and could be dangerous if they do win the NFC South. 6 9-8-0
12 Jaguars They are a disaster right now. The offensive line is bad, Trevor Lawrence isn't playing well and the defense isn't good. And yet they can be a playoff team still. 2 9-8-0
13 Seahawks That late-game drive by Geno Smith to beat the Titans might have saved their season. If they win out, they get into the playoffs. 2 9-8-0
14 Texans The entire season hinges on C.J. Stroud being back. When will that happen? The loss to the Browns was a bad look. 3 10-7-0
15 Steelers They made a smart change going to Mason Rudolph at quarterback. They kept their playoff hopes alive by beating the Bengals. 6 10-7-0
16 Bengals Their playoff push hit a halt in the loss to the Steelers. Jake Browning came back to reality. 4 9-8-0
17 Colts Losing to the Falcons the way they did is not a good look for a team in playoff mode down the stretch. Gardner Minshew got beat up in that game. 4 9-8-0
18 Vikings The defense has had major issues the past few weeks, which is surprising. They still have a playoff shot, but they will need help. 4 7-10-0
19 Falcons The change from Desmond Ridder to Taylor Heinicke paid off for to the Falcons. He got the ball to the playmakers against the Colts. 3 7-10-0
20 Packers Their season will be decided this week against the Vikings. Lose and they are done. -- 9-8-0
21 Broncos The loss to the Patriots is inexcusable for a team making a playoff push. They are a long shot to get in now. 3 8-9-0
22 Saints Their season comes down to this week's game with Tampa Bay. They need it to have any playoff chance. 3 9-8-0
23 Raiders Impressive showing in K.C. keeps their faint playoff hopes alive. They are playing hard for Antonio Pierce. -- 8-9-0
24 Bears They have showed so much improvement the past few weeks. That has to be encouraging for the future. -- 7-10-0
25 Jets It looks like the top brass will be back next year. You can bet Aaron Rodgers loves hearing that -- and probably had impact on that decision. 3 7-10-0
26 Cardinals The last few weeks have not been good for this team, but Kyler Murray was solid again in the loss to the Bears. He should be their quarterback next season. 1 4-13-0
27 Titans This team will look a lot different next season. It will be built around Will Levis and maybe the style of play needs to change. 1 6-11-0
28 Giants They battled against the Eagles, but they just aren't good enough. Tommy DeVito-mania seems to be over. 1 6-11-0
29 Patriots Who was that team that played in Denver? Bailey Zappe did some good things against the Broncos. 1 4-13-0
30 Chargers The decision to fire Brandon Staley gave this team some life against the Bills. Now let's see if it carries over the last two games. 1 5-12-0
31 Commanders At least they showed some fight against the Jets. The bad news is they now have quarterback questions. -- 4-13-0
32 Panthers They are seeing progress from Bryce Young. That is the most important thing for them down the stretch. -- 2-15-0