NFC Playoff Picture: Rams Can Spoil The 49ers' Hopes With An Unlikely Win

The St. Louis Rams have mostly been a footnote in the 2011 NFL season. From week to week, except for one notable exception, Steve Spagnuolo's team takes the field only to be rolled over by that week's opponent. They were once predicted to win the NFC West, but they have since been lapped by the other three teams, including Arizona and Seattle who each managed to overcome significant injuries to get to 7-8 on the season. St. Louis has one more chance to get a win inside their division with a Week 17 home game against the San Francisco 49ers.

I haven't seen the odds for the game yet, but you can imagine that the Rams are underdogs. Despite that, they have a huge opportunity to play the role of spoiler, beating the 49ers and changing the playoff picture.

A win would guarantee San Francisco the NFC's second seed in the playoffs, giving them a first round bye and home field advantage unless they have to take on the Packers who locked up the top spot this week. If the Rams win and the New Orleans Saints prevail, the 49ers would lose out on the second spot to the Saints.

Of course, you have to weigh the advantages of winning or losing versus the potential reward come April. If the Rams were to get the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, it could be worth three or four first round picks and a handful of other picks. That's the kind of bounty that could instantly change the direction of a franchise where losing has been the culture for far too long.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker