The St. Louis Rams can finish no worse than 7-8-1 in the 2012 season, and 7-8-1--as odd as it is, as a record--is nothing if not competent, especially just a year after a season that put them squarely in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Jeff Fisher will be feted as a hero, Sam Bradford will be kind-of-feted as a pretty-okay-guy-I-guess, and the Rams will be seen as On The Upswing, which is good. But there's one more challenge left: If they upset the Seattle Seahawks, their old nemesis from 2010's On The Upswing season, they'll graduate to interesting.
This will be much harder than we expected, going into the season, because the Seahawks have looked incredibly strong during a four-game winning streak that's pushed them into the playoffs. They've scored 40 points in each of their last three games, on the strength of a big rookie season from Russell Wilson and a huge performance from Marshawn Lynch.
But can they do it? Ryan Van Bibber makes the optimistic case for it on Turf Show Times. It's hard to see, but the Rams have already exceeded expectations just by being competent; you'll have to forgive St. Louis for this rare foray into optimism.