After falling to 5-8 after losing two straight games to NFC West opponents, the season seemed lost and it looked as if the Rams would once again end a season with a losing record.
The Rams had the New Orleans Saints who they would certainly lose to, the Tampa Buccaneers who have been playing better since going 0-8, and the Seattle Seahawks on the road. The hope of finishing at .500 seemed lost.
That was until the Rams pulled off one of the biggest upsets this season by defeating those Saints 27-16 to improve to 6-8 which makes 8-8 seem not so unlikely now.
This next week the Rams play the Buccaneers who have played much better with quarterback Mike Glennon under center. The Bucs have won four of their past six games with two of those wins coming against the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions respectively.
The Rams beat the Buccaneers last season 28-13 in Tampa Bay. This game will be at home for the Rams, a place they are 4-3 this season, the Bucs on the other hand are 1-5 on the road, their only win coming against the Lions at Ford Field.
By winning, the Rams would finish with two straight wins at home and would guarantee a winning record for the first time in three years in the Edward Jones Dome. Winning would also put the Rams one game away from going 8-8, something they haven’t done since 2006. Beating the Buccaneers next week is a big possibility.
The following week the challenge is extremely difficult. David vs Goliath if you will. The Seattle Seahawks are good enough as it is, put them at home, and they have proved they are basically unbeatable.
Thankfully the Rams might have some things going in their favor in this one. One thing being that the Rams seem to always play the Seahawks close, no matter the circumstance. In week 8 on Monday Night Football, in Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens’ first start nonetheless, the Rams lost 14-9 and had four chances at the end of the game to win.
Number two is that the Seahawks will more likely than not have the number one seed and home field advantage wrapped up as clinch both with a win or 49ers loss or tie. With that said Pete Carroll may rest his starters.
It isn’t very Pete Carroll-like to rest his starters, but this team is primed to go to the Super Bowl, and you don’t want to risk that with quarterback Russell Wilson getting a concussion or running back Marshawn Lynch hurting his hamstring.
In fact, in the past three games against the Rams,`1 Wilson has been sacked 15 times. The math is easy on that one, thats an average of five times per game. Thats enough to risk a concussion.
The fact of the matter is an injury can happen on any play of any game. Carroll may play his starters, but not for the whole game. The first quarter or the first half may be the limit before Carroll pulls his key guys to be sure they aren’t too rusty when they come out in the divisional playoff round.
Even with Carroll benching his starters this game will be difficult just for the fact that it is in Seattle and the Seahawks do have a lot of good depth.
8-8 is definitely a possibility and could happen. The Rams’ draft pick would go down coincidentally, but to show improvement or even end up with the same record as last year with the backup quarterback would be pretty incredible in itself.