After eight games, the Rams are 6-2 — their best start since going 7-1 in 2001. The club is No. 1 in scoring, averaging 32.9 points per game with a league-leading 108 point differential. And Los Angeles holds a one-game lead over Seattle in the NFC West.
But given how the Rams have finished their seasons in recent history, players aren't necessarily getting too high on themselves — even after Sunday's 51-17 thumping of the Giants.
"We're going into these games — even though our record is 5-2, 6-2, we feel like we are still the underdogs," cornerback Trumaine Johnson said.
Middle linebacker Alec Ogletree said the club "always" carries that underdog mentality.
"I mean everybody knows where we came from, we know what we have been through," Ogletree said. "The guys that have been here — it hasn't been all glitz and glamour, it hasn't been pretty."
The Rams made a host of changes in all three phases heading into 2017. And at this point, they're all clearly paying off.
"We're excited right now, we really are. The offense is clicking. If you were here last year — but it's last year — they weren't all there. Defense, we weren't all there also. I feel like we are clicking on offense, defense, and special teams. The special teams is being consistent and making plays for this team. And the offense, I give them all praise," Johnson said.
Check out the best photos from the Los Angeles Rams' win over the New York Giants.
And for Rams players who have been with the team for a while, there's a sense of not wanting to go back to results of yesteryear. And that brings with it a willingness to continue working week in and week out.
"My six years with the Rams, we have always been on that losing side, so it feels good to win those games," Johnson said. "But, like I said, let's keep going into those games even if our record is 5-2, 6-2, we feel like we're the underdogs and a lot of people aren't respecting us which is fine. It's more motivation for us."
"Everybody is just staying diligent and staying the course — just doing the right things," Ogletree said.
That's part of why even though the Rams are in the conversation for making a playoff push for the first time in a decade, as cliché as it is, they're still taking things one game at a time.
"You've seen it happen in the past, it happens all the time — teams start out hot and they don't finish the season the right way. Or vice versa, they start slow and finish tremendously," quarterback Jared Goff said. "So we need to go week to week. And we're excited about where we're at for sure. Six-and-two is really good and finishing the second quarter of the season 3-1 as well is really good. But we still have another half of the season to go."
"Really, whether we come away with a win or a loss, the guys have responded the same and our approach doesn't change," head coach Sean McVay said. "We want to be consistent and methodical with how we go about our weekly process and rhythm and I think the players have gotten comfortable with that. They've bought into what we're doing and it's showing up on the tape and we want to see that continue."