By Rams Nation's Don Ackerman
Tonight's "marque matchup" has the 2-7 Chicago Bears facing the 4-5 Saint Louis Rams. Not exactly "must see" TV for America at large. If it weren't for the immergence of the Saint Louis Rams offensive line, this game might as well be the Cleveland Browns versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Luckily for ABC, the Rams offensive line has really stepped it up in the last 4 weeks leading to 4 Rams wins giving America reason to watch.
ABC must have been salivating when they got their Monday Night Schedule. But parity and irony set in. The irony is last year, these two clubs had the best 2 records in the NFL at 13-3 (Chicago) and 14-2 (Saint Louis). In 2001, the Bears came out of nowhere to win their division. They had multiple miracle comebacks and thrived in overtime and impossible-to-win situations. Last year, the Rams were the Rams the NFL feared. With the best record in football, the Rams rampaged in their 2001 campaign.
In 2002, parity is what the NFL got. Of course, this isn't good for Monday Night Football when football is on America's stage. The Bears have done nothing to build the excitement: they have lost 7 straight games and appear to back to their 2000 ways when they were 5-11.
The Rams on the other hand are giving America a reason to watch. The offensive line has come together to give the Rams the offense America has come to know as the "Greatest Show on Earth/Turf." Hats off to the offensive line for coming together after and 0-5 start. They could have given up but they did not.
Also for your viewing pleasure is Kurt Warner Jr., aka Marc Bulger. Bulger has the NFL's highest quarterback rating (for what it's worth! I have reservations about that "honor") and is having an improbable year after Kurt Warner and backup Jamie Martin went down to injuries. The NFL is talking about a quarterback controversy in Saint Louis as Bulger has led the Rams to 4 straight victories and rekindled the dream of the NFL playoffs.
So enjoy the game, America! You might see something special with the 2002 Saint Louis Rams. ABC, if the Rams can win their 5th straight game, you're welcome.