If You Win in the NFC West, Can Anyone Hear You Scream?

In the midst of a 5 game skid things like power rankings just don't matter much. In fact, anything that doesn't involve the Charlie Brown sad/rejection music and walking around staring at the ground is pretty much out of the question, at least when it comes to football.

Then, something happened on the way to the bottom, the Rams won, in a manner as convincing as possible, in week 12 against the Niners.

With Haslett's freak out about press coverage of the run defense fresh in mind, let's see what those in the know - or at least those who make the power rankings - have to say about the Rams now.

Pro Football Weekly
I still can't figure out what it is this publication does in the modern, interactive media market. This is your father's football magazine, after Sports Illustrated, I guess. Anyway, PFW has the Rams at a solid, middle-of-the-pack #17, which is where they had the Rams pretty much all season, which makes you wonder if they bother to shift the rankings at all and update them with a new pithy remark each week. PFW's pithy remark this week is:

Five-game losing streak comes to an end, but it will take a lot to overtake Seattle.
Ok, good point.

CBS Sportsline
The Rams reached rock-bottom in CBS' rankings following their week 11 no show, but have catapulted right back up the charts to #18 after beating the 49ers. CBS correctly points out that the NFC is a mess, and that pretty much anyone with 5 or more wins has a chance at a Wild Card.

At 5-6, they're still alive. But they need to get more out of that offense, especially with the defense giving up so many yards.
All eyes on Bulger and Co. this week, which should make Haslett fairly happy.

Sports Illustrated
Last week's win and an improved offensive line moves the Rams from #22 to #19. Still, they don't seem convinced.

A makeshift line, a jug of wine, and thou beside me singing in the wilderness. "Maybe you'd better lie down for a while," the Flaming Redhead says. OK, we'll straighten this out. Never ending series of injuries along the line, which helped produce 111 yards, total, against the Panthers the week before last. Whereupon coach Scott Linehan turned play calling duties over to his offensive guy, Greg Olson. The result was a victory over the Niners, in which Marc Bulger went 9-for-9 in an inspiring final drive. Ah wilderness were paradise enow.
Poetry.

Last but not least,
Football Outsiders
The Rams are #19 in the DVOA rankings. The defense has slipped all the way to #27 using the defensive version of that statistical measurement. But we all know the defense is bad, it's the loss of Orlando Pace that has the stat-men skeptical.

When Orlando Pace was injured midway through the Week 9 game against Kansas City, Marc Bulger had 13 touchdowns and one interception on the season. Since then, he has one touchdown and three interceptions.
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