Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) November 4, 2014
Great question from Marsh this week.
Let's take each of the three and hash it out.
This is the likeliest of the categories the Rams would fall into. We're in last place in the NFC West and in the bottom third of the overall league standing as just one of 11 teams with a win percentage below .400. It's a situation of course made more painful by the win that slipped out of the Rams' hands against Dallas in week three that would have us at .500 otherwise, all other things beings equal. With two games remaining against the Cardinals along with contests against the Broncos, Chargers and Seahawks all left to play, there's no shortage of teams would consider themselves in either of the other two categories. That being said...
...there's still hope. It's a distant hope, but it's there. The problem, of course, is that it requires the Rams to get through the Octet of Pain intact. It's becoming increasingly likely that a 9-7 record might be sufficient to get into the wild card spots. That would require the Rams to go 6-2 which, given the way the first half of the season has played out, seems like a fair qualification for legal insanity should one feel optimistic about it. But as I told Fooch in our post-game chat, the Rams really do have to ignore the schedule ahead and try to get results one at a time. A win against the Cardinals is required for the Rams to even have a claim as a hunter in the second half. Dropping only one of the following two (at home against Peyton Manning and the Broncos and on the road at San Diego) is also a requirement. The most feasible route, and I'm using that liberally, would be to then go four straight after the OOP setting up a week 17 clash in Seattle with the Rams sitting at 9-6. It's the rosiest of scenarios, but crazy things can happen in the NFL. It's going to take something special on Sunday to kickstart any potential movement from being a spoiler trying to make false positives out of the season to being a team that's legitimately in the mix...
Answering this question today? We're spoilers looking to chip the aspirations of playoff hopefuls like we did against Seattle and San Francisco. Answering this question Monday if the Rams can pull a second successive road game off? Less certain. Answering this around Thanksgiving if the Rams can go 2-1 over their next three?
If nothing else, I'd relish the opportunity.