Rams are unanimous top team in latest AP Pro32 poll

Cooper Kupp

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) walks off the field after a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

NEW YORK (AP) — Super Bowl 56 will be played at SoFi Stadium in February.

And the way the Los Angeles Rams are playing through three games, they may get a chance to play for the championship in their home stadium.

Led by new quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Rams have opened the season 3-0 and are the unanimous top team in the latest AP Pro32 poll.

The Rams received all 12 first-place votes for 384 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

“After years of one disappointment after the other in Detroit, Matthew Stafford now enjoys the rarefied air of first place with his newly adopted Rams,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

“It has been a smashing start for the strong-armed quarterback, and his partnership with offensive whiz Sean McVay was on full display in the Rams’ victory over Tom Brady’s defending Super Bowl champs.”

SoFi Stadium will host two games this week. In a matchup of 3-0 teams, the Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals, who are No. 5 in the poll, on Sunday.

And the stadium’s other tenant, the Los Angeles Chargers, close out Week 4 by hosting the rival Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night.

The Raiders are No. 4 in the poll while the Chargers are tied with the suddenly reeling Kansas City Chiefs at No. 10. The Chargers topped the Chiefs 30-24 on Sunday as Kansas City fell seven spots in the poll.

“Having a defense that has allowed a league-high 95 points is no way for the Chiefs to defend their AFC crown,” said Rick Gosselin of the Talk of Fame Network.

“The worst defense ever to win a Super Bowl was the 2011 New York Giants, which allowed 25 points per game. The worst defense ever to reach a Super Bowl was the 2008 Arizona Cardinals, which allowed 26.6 points per game. The 1-2 Chiefs are allowing 31.6 points per game.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers slipped to No. 2 after losing to the Rams on Sunday. This week, Tom Brady brings his Bucs to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to face the New England Patriots on Sunday night in a game that won’t exactly lack for publicity and is already receiving Super Bowl-level hype.

The Buffalo Bills climbed four spots to No. 3 after routing Washington.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers jumped nine places to No. 6 after rallying for a 30-28 win over San Francisco on Sunday night.

AFC North rivals Baltimore and Cleveland follow next at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Baltimore slipped a spot after needing Justin Tucker’s NFL-record 66-yard field goal to get past Detroit 19-17. And Cleveland gained a place after dominating Chicago in Justin Fields’ first NFL start.

Surging Carolina, also 3-0, also moved up one place to No. 9 as its heads to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in a matchup of first-place teams in the NFC.

“A strong start for Sam Darnold in his new digs, but the work gets more challenging this weekend against Dallas without injured Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey,” Glauber said.

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