Uh oh, don't look now, but the Indianapolis Colts, who beat the Houston Texans last night, have the same record as the St. Louis Rams and the Minnesota Vikings. That makes for some interesting speculation about the 2012 NFL draft order. Could the Rams wind up with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft?
If all three of those teams stay at two wins, the Colts still have the top pick. Minnesota would have the second spot, and the Rams sit at number three. That's based on strength of schedule, i.e. the combined record of each teams' opponents. The late season improvement of the other two NFC West teams, Seattle and Arizona (which should also up your level of discontent with Spagnuolo's flop of a season), makes the Rams' strength of schedule even harder than the others.
But there's still football left to play.
The Colts finish the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Extrapolating based on recent results, that's a very winnable game for the once hapless Colts. Three wins would take them out of the running for the first pick.
A three-win Colts team would give the first overall pick to the Vikings, a team that, like the Rams, has their quarterback of the future already in place.
Minnesota plays the Redskins this week, a winnable game, especially if Jared Allen's disdain for losing takes hold with the rest of his teammates. They wrap up the season against the Bears, a less winnable game, but who thought Indianapolis would beat the Texans.
And then there's the Rams. They play in Pittsburgh this week, with a makeshift offensive line tasked with keeping James Harrison from ripping Kellen Clemens limb from limb. They wrap up the season against San Francisco, a team that needs to win out the season in order to win the battle for the NFC's second seed with New Orleans.
Obviously, the Rams have the toughest schedule of the group.
I don't want to get your hopes up, but it's entirely possible that Steve Spagnuolo's parting gift to the Rams could be the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. You know what that means, right? That means teams hungry for Andrew Luck will be throwing a Brinks truck(s) at whoever is calling the shots for the Rams in the draft this year.
In short, it's quite possible that the Rams could back themselves into the first pick in the draft.
Be still, my heart.