The NFL schedule has dealt the St. Louis Rams an interesting hand in Week 10, coming off their bye week. They’ll head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers at 3:15, right as the other 4-4 NFC West leader, the Seattle Seahawks, find themselves in Arizona to take on the third-place Cardinals. The results could leave the Rams alone in first place and over .500 for the first time since Nov. 2006 — or they could vault the Cardinals into a three-way tie for first place. November relevance has rarely been weirder, or more welcome.
The Rams and the 49ers, each coming off their bye week, have had vastly different experiences with their franchise quarterbacks. Alex Smith will miss a second straight game in favor of Baltimore Ravens cast-off Troy Smith. Meanwhile, Sam Bradford will look to follow up his best performance of the season with another efficient, error-free game, despite enigmatic receiver Danario Alexander missing another game after a fifth surgery on his left knee stopped his rookie season in its tracks.
If the Cardinals and the 49ers win, the hapless NFC West will suddenly have three first-place squads at 4-5; if the Rams and Cardinals win, St. Louis will be alone in first place for the first time since Week 5 of the 2006 season, when they lost to the Seattle Seahawks to fall to 4-2.