If the Rams hadn’t been such a roller coaster of a team, we could say their upcoming game against the 49ers would be a pivotal game. The conference winners are pretty much set (Bears, Falcons, 49ers, Giants?), but the only seeming lock for the wild card teams so far could be the Packers. If the Rams could pull off an upset against the 49ers, it could give them a lot of momentum moving into the tail end of their 2012 season (which is a lighter part of the schedule). After the 49ers everyone on the schedule is a poor to average team. The obvious assumption here is that our ‘poor’ team will turn a corner and start playing consistently good football.
After the 49ers, the Rams play the 4-7 Bills, the 6-5 vikings (H), the 6-5 Bucks, and the 6-5 Seahawks. Now indulge me here as coming from a premise of possibility and not probability… If we were to win all of the games (outside of the 49ers this is reasonable except that 3 of the 4 other games are on the road) our year ending schedule would be 9-6-1. A stretch for a play off birth, but not mathematically impossible (today).
A more realistic scenario might be losing to the 49ers, beating the Bills, beating the Vikings, beating the Bucks, and losing to Seattle. While this is still a ‘good’ case scenario, the Rams would end the season with a record of 7-8-1. This would not get us into the playoffs, but let’s be realistic, coming from 2-14 last season this would still be considered very positive for the team and its chances going into the 2013 season.
Of course there are other less pleasant scenarios I have not discussed, but we won’t discuss them publicly; they are only to be spoken in hushed and bitter tones. They are pushed into the back of our consciences. Hidden in corners of our minds saved for cursing and disbelief. We hold those thoughts there while we force a smile on our face. We pretend our co-worker’s ill timed mocking will fall squarely off our shoulders to be forgotten. But they won’t be. Every cheap shot will be spewed back as soon as we have a winning season (no I’m not bitter lol).
In any case a defibrillation, a jump start, a massive surge is what we need to conquer the tail end of the season and beating the 49ers could be just what the doctor ordered. Is a playoff run reasonable? No. Is it possible? Yes, it’s possible. The Rams running game is at its best, the defense just came off a 4 turnover game against the Cardinals, Bradford has become very comfortable with 2 receivers (Givens and Amendola), and the offensive line is finally getting healthy. Now, if we could get our special teams up to snuff we could be dangerous. However things fall out, the Rams look to have an improved season over 2011 and a win over the 49ers is always a beautiful thing. Go Rams!!!