When we previewed the Octet of Pain back before the Philadelphia game, things looked tough. And while the losses to the Eagles and Niners stung, the win over the Seahawks has helped perhaps right the ship and illuminate the silver linings in the two losses.
And it's worth noting the Rams 1-2 record from the early Octet of Pain results matches their pre-bye record, so we'll have to see where the improvements come.
Here's what we're looking at in the next five games:
@ Kansas City Chiefs - Sun., Oct. 26
I said back in September that this "is probably the most winnable game of the OOP." I'd stand by that, but I'd also point to how hard this stretch is. The Chiefs are no slouches as they proved that on the road in San Diego with a 23-20 win. It is a bit of a rubber meets the road contest with the Chiefs' third best rushing offense in yards per game and the Rams' recent successes against starting running backs. Might as well just assume that means Knile Davis is going to go off.
@ San Francisco 49ers - Sun., Nov. 2
You have to wonder how the Rams could possibly get a win here after Monday Night Football. Anything's possible, but this one looks almost undoable to me.
@ Arizona Cardinals - Sun., Nov. 9
The Cards are getting their own, I guess, Dectet of Pain starting this week against the Eagles. The big difference between the Cardinals and the Rams? The Cardinals got the results before the tough stretch of their schedule going 5-1 with big wins over the Chargers and 49ers early. We'll see what kind of form they're in after playing the Eagles and Cowboys come November.
v. Denver Broncos - Sun., Nov. 16
"Peyton in the Ed. Gulp." /no changes needed
@ San Diego Chargers - Sun., Nov. 23
San Diego was improving every week after five weeks at 4-1 having trounced the Jets 31-0, but a 3-point win over the Raiders and a loss to the Chiefs has taken some of the luster off of the 2014 Chargers. Now, they'll have to travel to Denver and Miami before the bye week with only a Raiders tune-up before the Rams arrive in SoCal.
The bottom line is this. If the Rams want to resurrect any faint hopes of a playoff push, they're going to have to work toward going 8-2 over the last ten. That's five games left in the Octet of Pain and anything more than two losses effectively sends the Rams nearly into full draft order mode.
It's time to see what kind of fight this team has in them.
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