by Rams Nation's Don Ackerman
Before today, the Saint Louis Rams were on the outside looking in. Before today's 10-49 butt-kickin', I was actually thinking that if the Rams didn't win the division, their only home game could be the NFC championship. After weeks of being on & off life support, the Rams post-season dreams are over.
In 2002, the Rams are 1-6 on the road with their sole win at the 5-8 Arizona Cardinals (whom we consequently face next Sunday night on ESPN's prime time but not prime matchup). The defending NFC champs simply couldn't get it all together and fared worst on the road. Instead of taking advantage of a wide-open NFL (parity rules, right?), the Rams are a very disappointing 5-8 and have to be as puzzled as I am about the road struggles.
What happens in the final three games should show us what might be in store for 2003. With the season over today, the Rams now have the opportunity to give every young player a serious look and rest the weary. We should get to see who's staying and who's going. Just like the last 10 weeks, the biggest and most-watched position will continue to be quarterback. Do we see more of Jamie Martin? Does Marc Bulger get more minutes? Should be fun to watch as we look ahead to next season. How this season ends will be another test for Mike Martz in an unfathomable 2002 season.
5-11 or 8-8?
After 3 straight playoff appearances, the Rams' best efforts could land them at 8-8. If they continue to play like they have for a last 3 games, they will be 5-11. Hard to believe we dropped so far after last year's 14-2 season. If the Rams drop to 5-11, maybe the 2003 Rams are the next worst-to-first candidate? Rams fans can only hope that's the case.