- KC Joyner, NFL Insider
Bill James spent much of his sabermetric writing career trying to find ways to determine if a team or a player's improvement was for real. He knew there were a variety of reasons that would explain why a .250 hitter would hit .300 for a time or an 81-81 club might win 90 games in a season. James wanted to discern which of those reasons were the result of circumstance and which were true indicators of future success.
This mindset can also be applied to the 2010 St. Louis Rams. They are currently tied for first place in the NFC West with a 4-4 record but given the weak history of that division and the Rams' recent woes (they have six wins across the three previous seasons), many are taking their achievement with a grain or two of salt.
That skepticism is understandable, but the game tape and metric reviews indicate it is unwarranted. The Rams are excelling in multiple areas. It can be said there is a good chance this season won't be the only one in the near future in which they will be contending for the postseason.
Last week, KC Joyner wrote of the Detroit Lions' significant improvements. This week, he shines the light on the St. Louis Rams -- Sam Bradford has been a boon for them, but their defense (specifically Ron Bartell) and Danny Amendola (a poor man's Wes Welker to some) have also shown this team is on the verge.