Oct 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy (30) reacts to losing the game between the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks at Edward Jones Dome. The Seahawks defeat the Rams 14-9. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Should The Rams "Tank" The Rest Of The Season?

Right now the St. Louis Rams sit at 5-6 and just two games out a playoff spot with five games left to play, not to mention all but one of their remaining opponents have winning records.

The chances to the Rams making the final playoff spot is very slim. With that said would it be smarter for the Rams to lose the rest of their games and build for the future rather than fight for a playoff spot.

Whenever there is a top prospect coming in the upcoming draft, fans at times would rather their team get that top prospect than compete for the post season. In basketball this season it’s Andrew Wiggins, this season in football it’s Teddy Bridgewater and Jadeveon Clowny.

Is it better to get that next top prospect that has potential to make a difference or do as well as you can now even if it means your chances of getting that prospect goes down the drain?

First I’ll start by saying this. When drafting a player, nobody truly knows how a player is going to turn out. They could turn out to be the next Peyton Manning or they could turn out to be the next JaMarcus Russell or Ryan Leaf.

Even the best scouts don’t know if a player’s game is going to translate to the big leagues, or if a player is going is going to be willing to put in that extra effort that will make them great players. They just never know.

If scouts truly knew how a player was going to turn out, the Tom Brady’s and Kurt Warner’s of the world would go in the first round and the Ryan Leaf’s and JaMarcus Russell’s would go in the later rounds or even go undrafted.

Thats what makes the draft so exciting however, nobody ever knows how a player is going to turn out. There is always that chance to get that diamond in the rough in the later rounds. Heck the Rams look like they just got one in last year’s draft with Zac Stacy.

If the Rams were to tank the rest of the season and go 5-11 and then the Redskins were to go 5-11 as well, the Rams would more than likely end up with a two picks in the 6-10 range, and I would imagine the Rams would look to trade out of one of those if not both.

If the Rams end up going 7-9, 8-8, or 9-7 the Rams would more than likely end up with a pick in the 13-18 range and to be honest the talent level in that area isn’t a significant decrease from 13 to 18.

When the Rams end up with a top 1o pick from Washington, it would not be surprising if Les Snead made one of his infamous draft day trades to move back in that 13-18 area anyway.

The Rams would obviously receive more picks, but do you want to build for the future so much that you are giving up what the Rams have going now? The Rams have a good corps of guys with Bradford, Stacy, Austin, and Givens on offense and Long, Brockers, Quinn, Laurinaitis on defense and unfortunately those guys aren’t getting any younger, specifically Long and Laurinaitis. Why let their talent go to waste?

This is a win now league, it’s the main reason why NFL free agency is so big. Teams are willing to pay the big bucks to fill in the missing holes in order to reach the main goal that next season, the Lombardi Trophy.

The Rams have lost so much in the past ten years, that as a fan you should be cherishing these wins. The Rams have failed to win 10 games in a season since 2003 and have failed to win four games four times since 2007. The Rams have played 11 games this season, have five wins, and sit one game away from .500.

The only time tanking a season should even be considered is if a team is going to get their franchise quarterback, and for the Rams that isn’t even the case as Sam Bradford is their guy.

Right now the Rams are right in the playoff mix and even if the Rams lose to San Francisco and Arizona it’s just not like a Jeff Fisher team to just give up and call it a year just to get a higher draft pick.

What message is that sending to a young team trying to develop? If you are going to go out on the field to purposely lose, what’s the point of even taking the field on Sunday?

You play the game to win and only to win. As the great coach Vince Lombardi said, “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” And that’s exactly what the Rams have done for the past ten years, failing to achieve a winning season. It’s time to turn the tides and make winning a habit.

 

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