ST. LOUIS (Football StL) -- Jeff Fisher appears to be well on his way to getting the Rams franchise turned around and becoming a playoff contender again. Didn’t take him very long.
He inherited a mess of a franchise that had gone 15-65 in the previous five seasons. Now 11 weeks into the 2012 season the Rams are actually in the playoff picture. Just barely, but they’re in it. If they can find a way to run the table and win their final four games they just might be one of the NFC wildcard teams.
That’s pretty hard to fathom really, when you consider how horrendous the Rams were last season. Fisher has proven to be worth every penny of the seven million dollar salary he’s making.
The victory over the 49ers may well turn out to be the turning point of the franchise. The Rams hung with one of the NFL’s best teams in a brutal, physical battle that lasted almost five complete quarters. If they can play with San Francisco, they can play with anybody. It was the kind of win that should convince a skeptical fan base that the Rams are back.
Maybe the most impressive thing about the quick turnaround is the fact that the Rams are the youngest team in the league. They have 15 rookies on the roster. Many of this year’s draft picks have become major contributors- Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Chris Givens, Trumaine Johnson, Daryl Richardson and Greg Zuerlein. Thanks to the trade made with Washington before last year’s draft the Rams will have two first round picks in 2013, and two more in 2014.
The Rams are clearly a team trending upward. It may be asking too much to think they can win their last four games against Buffalo, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Seattle. But at least they’re still in the playoff conversation in December. I don’t think many people saw that coming. I know I didn’t.