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Sunday Morning Bloody Mary: Playoff picture colors Rams last four games

The St. Louis Rams can see the playoffs at the end of the tunnel, but it's no easy ride to get there.
The St. Louis Rams can see the playoffs at the end of the tunnel, but it's no easy ride to get there.

There's not a quicker season in pro sports than the NFL. I'm too chronically challenged to go through and do the math, but one game a week just makes it faster, regardless of what the calendar says. As we mentioned on Turf Show Radio yesterday, December used to mark the beginning of draft talk at TST, that, and whose playoffs hopes STL theoretically had the chance to torpedo. Not this year. The St. Louis Rams are in the thick of a playoff hunt, and each of the last four games have implications for the Rams' postseason hopes. However, they also have playoffs implications for the opponents, an intangible element that will makes those games that much more challenging.

Let's review.

Rams @ New Orleans - The Saints are chasing Atlanta for the NFC South crown, and with the Falcons at Carolina today, New Orleans needs a win to stay within a game. They're also in the hunt for an NFC Wild Card spot, which isn't as daunting a task as catching Atlanta, but Green Bay and the New York Giants are also looking for WC berths.

Rams vs. Kansas City - The Chiefs have a comfortable two game lead in the AFC West, but the Raiders and Chargers have favorable enough schedules that they could conceivably catch the Chiefs. It's a stretch, but Todd Haley's team will be in St. Louis next week firmly focused on nailing down their playoff spot and as much home field advantage as they can get.

Rams vs. San Francisco - Whether or not this game has playoff implication depends in large part on the outcome of today's 49ers/Seahawks game, in San Francisco. After this week, Seattle has Atlanta at home and on the road against Tampa Bay. It's not an easy schedule by any means. SF goes to San Diego next week before coming to St. Louis and finishing the season at home against Arizona.

Rams @ Seattle - It could all be riding on this game, unless SF wins out today and Seattle slides. Spagnuolo and his team need to win one of their next two, and beat SF in week 16 to secure their playoff spot. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think that the San Francisco game carries bigger playoff implications for the NFC West than the week 17 game against Seattle, only because Seattle's schedule looks like it will have them buried by then.