After a hard-fought 13-12 field-goal fest victory over the Cleveland Browns (3-6) on the road, the St. Louis Rams (2-7) have once again done enough to escape the label of worst in the NFC. According to SB Nation's Joel Thorman in his Week 11 NFL Power Rankings, that dubious title now belongs to the Minnesota Vikings.
As for the Rams, they moved from 31st overall up two spots to 29th, and are now primed to jump an underwhelming blob of teams that extends all the way up to the 22nd-ranked Philadelphia Eagles (3-6). Although these fellow underachievers aren't the bar NFL team should measure themselves against, it is interesting to think where the Rams would be if they had knocked off the Cardinals in Week 10. Thorman explains:
29. St. Louis Rams (2-7, LW: 31): So the Rams are a Patrick Peterson punt return away from putting three wins together. With games coming up against Seattle and Arizona, they can add to their win total.
With RB Steven Jackson racking up big yardage, and QB Sam Bradford getting healthy while developing a strong rapport with WR Brandon Lloyd, the Rams offense might actually become dangerous over the second half of the season. Even so, the 2-7 start, coupled with a 1-6 record in the conference, has all but eliminated any hopes for the playoffs. As Ryan Van Bibber has pointed out on Turf Show Times, the rest of the season will be about whether the coaching staff will keep their jobs.