For Rams, it's not all Sam Bradford

Ron Bartell is having a campaign similar to Darrelle Revis in 2009 in several metric regards. Getty Images

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.