3 and 3.
And Rams fans couldn't be happier.
The one thing that St. Louis Rams fans have had going for them, if you want to call it that, was predictability. Kickoff at noon. Out of the game by halftime. Another official loss in the books by 3:05. It was like clockwork.
Orange. But clockwork.
A week after getting humiliated, the Rams faced what on paper appeared to be their toughest opponent in 2010 - the San Diego Chargers. Who, by the way, were coming off a humbling loss to the Oakland Raiders where Tony Horne made a special coaching cameo, I suspect. No offense to Shaun Hill, but Phil Rivers was quietly having an All-Pro 1st team season. Mix in a little Antonio Gates and some Malcolm Floyd? Looked like that vaunted Rams defense from the first four weeks was finally showing signs that its off-season spinal implant was failing to take.
Three hours after kickoff, the Chargers were as baffled as we were leaving the dome... what just happened?
Days later and I think we're all still trying to figure out just exactly what this team is. A legitimate contender in the NFC West? A young team playing with spunk, albeit erratically? A grossly overachieving bunch that's had a pretty soft schedule so far? Home beasts? Road dogs?
What the hell are they?
Dennis Green's head would explode thinking about it, I suppose. Bottom line, 3-3 6 games into the season in a very weak division in a pretty weak conference is nothing but a good thing. In fact, it's the main reason I championed a risky trade for Vincent Jackson—maybe the Rams weren't planning on actually competing for something meaningful in 2010, but the situation has changed. They can do damage THIS year.
The next 10 games are going to be anything but predicable. And that's huge for a fan base that's been beaten into shells of football fans. Heading into November the Rams aren't out of it. And that's reason enough to celebrate 2010. And by celebrate, I mean pick the Rams next 10 games:
Oct. 24 @ Tampa Bay - WIN - The Rams get a much needed road win against another upstart NFL surprise.
Oct 31 vs Carolina - WIN - The Panthers are pathetic and have done everything short of writing a Jersey Shore-style letter to management about John Fox. In fact, they might just leave the St. Louis native here after this game as the Rams move to 6-4. 1 to 2 odds the Post-Dispatch is all over the Halloween puns. (i.e. The Rams Are Scaring The NFC West, et al.)
Nov 14 @ San Francisco - LOSS - Alex Smith uses his tiny, tiny hands to guide a more talented SF team at home to the win. Putting the Niners back into the NFC West Race.
Nov 21 vs Atlanta - LOSS - The Falcons have not been blown out in 2010. They're comfortable in the dome. Crowds will still be thin as the Rams go to 5-5.
Nov 28 @ Denver - LOSS - Who else wants to see Bradford knock out Josh McDaniels with an errant throw? Bradford's first road game against an intimidating home crowd doesn't go well. 5-6
Dec 5 @ Arizona - WIN - The Cardinals aren't a scary team. The Rams are pissed about three straight losses plus the earlier bed crapping at home against the Cardinals. They win big. 6-6
Dec 12 @ New Orleans - LOSS - The Saints will have something to gain with a win. They'll have all their parts back. No way the Rams pull off what would be a massive upset. 6-7
Dec 19 vs Kansas City - WIN - This will be the best home crowd we've seen in years. People fired up and the dome legit full (10K or so Chiefs fans). I think I'm looking forward to this game about 1500% more than I was when I saw this on the schedule this past summer. 7-7
Dec 26 vs San Fransisco - WIN - Officially eliminating the 49ers from the NFC West and setting up the showdown for the division title with the Seahawks. 8-7
Jan 2 @ Seattle - LOSS - The Rams finish an epic 8-8 campaign with a thrashing by the Seahawks on a field the Rams are just scared to death of. I think after the burning disappointment of not making the playoffs dissipates, Rams fans will wonder just how in the hell this team made it to the last week with a shot at going to the playoffs.
And since all this is now on the record, none of this will happen.
None of it. But 3-3 starts have a weird way of making you see things though a different prism. And unlike last season, or the one before that — you have no clue if any of the above is going to happen.
With this organization, that's a good thing.