It may seem like a hollow accomplishment given that there is no next week regardless of how well this week turns out, but the St. Louis Rams finishing at .500 would be a much bigger psychological victory than fans may think.
What this organization is trying to build under general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher is a steady progression toward consistent winning. For a franchise that hasn’t even seen a .500 record since 2006, it seems safe to say that a win on Sunday to reach that mark is a definite sign that things are moving in the right direction.
So it’s only fitting that the most difficult circumstances face the Rams in their Week 17 tilt against the division rival Seattle Seahawks in the toughest venue the NFL has to offer in CenturyLink Field. The Arizona Cardinals sort of shattered the stigma that accompanies taking the trip to the great northwest to battle Seattle with their victory there last weekend so perhaps those vibes will carry the Rams en route to a win on Sunday.
There’s no doubt what would fuel the team more is if this young defense continues to blossom with likely Defensive Player of the Year Robert Quinn adding to his already lofty sack total. With his 18th takedown last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Quinn surpassed Kevin Carter’s franchise record of 17 sacks set back in 1999 when the team was better known for the Greatest Show on Turf.
His breakout season has occurred in similar manner in which the Rams hope they progress as a team. Quinn’s rookie season saw him tally five sacks before he moved up the ladder to 10.5 last season. Another three sacks on Sunday would see him double his previous campaign’s total once again this year, but the progress he has shown this season is already more than enough to know that he is one of the best in the league at his position.
That type of gradual emergence is exactly what the Rams are gunning for as a franchise. Their GM Snead set a goal for the third year as the real breakout season for the club, and given the injuries they’ve sustained this year while still managing to stay competitive it seems safe to say they are well on their way. A win on Sunday spearheaded by yet another ridiculous performance from Quinn would be a fitting way for the Rams to punctuate 2013 as they prepare for what figures to be a breakout season in 2014.