The St. Louis Rams lost to the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, 13-16. Now riding a three-game losing streak to a 4-6 record, the Rams are all but eliminated from playoff contention holding on to the slimmest of mathematical outs.
Sure, this leaves people with the options of immediacy: tune into the draft or tune out entirely (Don't do that! We're still here! TST doesn't hibernate!). Still, the Rams have six games remaining taking them into 2016. Here's how things lay out after 11 weeks of the 2015 NFL Regular Season for the Rams.
It keeps getting worse. Already without Robert Quinn and Rob Havenstein with week-to-week injuries, the Rams were pushed into some uncomfortable personnel decisions especially on the O-line. Things will get even tougher there with OT Andrew Donnal injured for the season in his first start.
Of course, the major injuries were on the other side with the Ravens losing QB Joe Flacco for the season to an ACL injury and RB Justin Forsett to an ugly broken arm early in the game.
Case Keenum stands out here, but I as I said in the report card it's hard to know how much of it falls on him.
The offensive line was already a patchwork affair:
- Week 1 (l to r): Greg Robinson, Jamon Brown, Tim Barnes, Rodger Saffold, Rob Havenstein
- Week 11, starting lineup: Greg Robinson, Garrett Reynolds, Tim Barnes, Cody Wichmann, Andrew Donnal
- Week 11, finishing lineup: Greg Robinson, Cody Wichmann, Tim Barnes, Demetrius Rhaney, Garrett Reynolds
Here's your current OL personnel status report:
- David Arkin: Signed last week. Currently on the practice squad.
- Tim Barnes: Current starting C.
- Isaiah Battle: On 53-man roster. Inactive for Week 11.
- Jamon Brown: Placed on IR after suffering leg injury.
- Andrew Donnal: Injured his knee yesterday. Likely to be placed on IR.
- Brian Folkerts: Signed last week.
- Rob Havenstein: Inactive for Week 11.
- Eric Kush: Signed last week.
- Garrett Reynolds: Current starting RT.
- Demetrius Rhaney: Current starting RG.
- Greg Robinson: Current starting LT.
- Rodger Saffold: Placed on IR after suffering shoulder injury.
- Cody Wichmann: Current starting LG.
- Darrell Williams: Placed on IR after suffering wrist injury.
Well, it's not looking good:
Just two weeks ago, I said:
It's going to be a interesting next couple of weeks in the NFC West. Arizona heads to Seattle in Week 10 before taking on the 8-0 Bengals in Week 11. After that, it's a two-game road trip to San Francisco and St. Louis. Seattle follows up with San Fran after Arizona. So by the time the Rams come back to NFC West football against the Cardinals in Week 12, things will likely look very different.
They do. And they look a lot worse.
As for the NFC, the Rams now sit in 10th with three other teams (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Seattle Seahawks and Washington) ahead of them in the wild card hunt who are also outside the top six. The standings at the bottom of the conference are very tight, though, with eight teams that have either three or four wins. No team in the NFC has two or less.
You can throw out the strength of schedule BS for the Rams now. Losing to Chicago at home and Baltimore yesterday shows how little it matters in Fisherball. Making things worse is how difficult the next two games look.
The Rams head to Ohio to face the 8-2 Bengals before coming home to take on the streaking 8-2 Cardinals. It might be a tough, tough November to remember (or not).