It’s funny how the complexion of a game can drastically change with just one injury. Heading into last week many thought this Monday night primetime tilt with the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 could potentially be the catalyst for a season turnaround by the St. Louis Rams. Now it seems safe to say that conversation has ended quite abruptly with the Rams really lacking much of a prayer on national television.
What this game has turned into with the injury to quarterback Sam Bradford is an attempt to maintain some self of self-respect. Even playing at home where the Rams have been consistently alright this season, Seattle enters the Edward Jones Dome as 11.5-point favorites in a divisional road game. This type of line suggests that even Vegas has thrown in the towel on St. Louis’ chances this season, but the guys in the locker room certainly haven’t given up yet.
Guys like defensive end Chris Long and linebacker James Laurinaitis are the leaders of this team. Their passion is evident out on the field each and every Sunday, and it’s hard to believe that these professionals would just fold up the tent and call it a day with half of the season left to play. At 3-4 with a career backup – and not a very successful one at that in Kellen Clemens – under center, the chances of St. Louis righting the ship and making a push for the playoffs are very remote, but this team still has guys playing for their jobs.
No position is safe in the NFL, and it seems fair to assume that everyone on the Rams roster will be examined during the offseason to see if they merit keeping that spot going into 2014. Even though Bradford may be out, the offensive weapons are still present in Jared Cook, Tavon Austin, and Chris Givens to make things happen. Running back Zac Stacy had a rough outing against a stout Carolina Panthers defense last week, but he needs a bounce-back effort against another tough unit in the Seahawks.
The odds are long and this Rams team seems all but finished as far as postseason aspirations are concerned, but just because Brett Favre didn’t ride in clad in shining armor doesn’t mean the team can give up hope. There’s no way a coach like Jeff Fisher won’t have his guys fired up for a primetime tilt, and that could easily make this game closer than the experts think. Add in the fact that this is a division game with familiarity and a history of tight contests, and the likelihood of a blowout decreases even further.
Many fans might be downtrodden given the Rams’ rotten luck of late, but Monday night could bring out some unknown fight in the league’s youngest squad. Don’t look for them to lay down and take a beating like many are predicting.