With the NFL becoming a mixed bag of mediocrity this season, one of the perks to this development is that not many teams have been eliminated from playoff contention just yet in either conference. In the NFC the St. Louis Rams are very much alive, and even though they are currently relying on a journeyman backup quarterback the team nearly controls its own destiny. The numbers may not be in their favor, but could Kellen Clemens actually get the once thought to be hopeless Rams to the postseason this year?
According to NumberFire their chances are slim at just 0.7 percent making their margin for error the width of a pin. Regardless, with the other teams fighting for the spots dealing with their fair share of inconsistencies (San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals), important injuries (Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears), or straight up pull your hair out unpredictability (Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants), there’s no denying the fact that the Rams aren’t much worse off than any of the competition.
Much like Chicago and Green Bay, the Rams have had to manage their way through the NFL season since Week 7 without their starting quarterback. Unlike those two squads, however, the Rams have actually looked like a better squad with Clemens than they did under Sam Bradford’s direction early in the year. Whether this is a reflection on the team finally developing chemistry or of Clemens actually providing them a better chance to win is up for debate, but what’s not a matter of discussion is that the Rams hold their destiny in their own hands.
The upcoming schedule begins on Sunday with the Jay Cutler-less 6-4 Bears which could potentially provide the team with a leg up in the wild card tiebreaker if it comes down to that. Then two road dates with 6-4 NFC West foes San Francisco and Arizona will test the team are followed up by a massive home test against the current No. 2 seed in the NFC New Orleans Saints. A reprieve will be offered in the second-to-last game of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers even though they are suddenly on a winning streak, and the final week is the traditional road trip to the near impossible Seattle Seahawks.
Is it daunting? Sure, but the Rams are the team calling the shots in this race and Jeff Fisher knows how to lead a team over seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Fresh off of a 38-8 road lambasting of the Indianapolis Colts, perhaps the Rams have the necessary momentum to propel them to a serious winning streak to finish out the year. As improbable as it may seem, no one had the Rams winning by 30 on the road at one of the AFC’s so-called elites, did they?