When the gun sounded Sunday in Arizona, the Rams found themselves 6-6 riding a two game road winning streak, and remained in first place of the NFC West by means of a head to head advantage tie breaker against the Seahawks.
With four games remaining, and a head to head matchup versus the Seahawks in week 17 looming, it would seem that as little as 1 more victory in the next three weeks (plus a head to head win in week 17) could give the Rams one heck of a shot at the division crown.
What if that one victory came against the toughest opponent on the schedule? If the Rams win this weekend, they could almost wrap up the division before the Rams travel to Seattle, providing the Rams beat the 49ers or Chiefs, and Seattle loses 2 (which could happen.. they play @SF, ATL, @Tampa in their next three games).
And with the 49ers still mathematically in the division hunt, expect them to come out and play hard this weekend at home. A loss @SF would pit the Seahawks in a tough spot, and potentially going 0-3 in those 3 games.
What does all this mean? To keep it simple, the Rams have absolutely nothing to lose this week, period. When you play a team with nothing to lose, it can be a dangerous situation. The Rams know they essentially have a mulligan this week provided Seattle struggles versus Tampa and Atlanta (even with a win versus SF).
BUT let's make one thing clear. This year's Rams don't have "mulligan" in their vocabulary. Not on Spagnuolo's watch.
Let's also make another thing clear. The Rams are pretty much outmatched this week... on paper. But there is one area the Rams are not outmatched. Their heart. 110% effort, and pride. That's a potent combo, and one that has the Rams sitting where they are right now.
That and major improvements at the QB position (Hail Sam!) and on defense.
The Rams head to New Orleans for the "finale" of a tiresome three game road trip, at 2-0 knowing there is no shame in a loss, yet massive glory with a win, and with the heart of a champion.
Should the Saints have there eyes wide open? You bet they should.