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    Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Spagnuolo on 4-6 Rams: `We’re still in it’

    By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
    Nov 23, 6:35 am EST

    ST. LOUIS (AP)—Getting whipped by the Atlanta Falcons and facing a tough stretch has not diminished coach Steve Spagnuolo’s optimistic outlook. Being a member of the weakest division in the NFL can have that effect.

    At 4-6, the St. Louis Rams are only a game out of first place, and everyone else in the NFC West also lost on Sunday. So even though their four-game home winning streak is history and they’re 0-3 on the road and set to be the visiting team the next three weeks, nothing changes.

    “We’re still in the thick of it, and that’s the way we’re going to look at it,” Spagnuolo said Monday. “We’re going to focus on the prize we set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year, the NFC West.”

    Spagnuolo believes the Rams, who won only one game last season, are close to being able to play with any team. Though they lost 34-17 on Sunday, the Rams had the Falcons sweating before a botched shovel pass from the Atlanta 2 with 3:24 to go snuffed a drive that could have made it a two-point game.

    The loss aggravated Spagnuolo to the point he didn’t care to watch the Eagles-Giants game, his two NFL coaching stops before St. Louis.

    “I’ll normally throw on whatever the Sunday night game is,” Spagnuolo said. “I was done.”

    Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui(notes) lined up in the backfield and was the intended receiver on the shovel pass, but bumped into guard Adam Goldberg(notes), who had gotten pushed back by the Falcons’ rush. The ball went straight to safety William Moore(notes) and the Falcons pulled away, increasing their NFC-best record to 8-2.

    “It’s two points, the dome would have been going nuts, the guys would have been energized. Who knows?” Spagnuolo said. “That’s the NFL.”

    Watching from the sideline, Spagnuolo was certain it was a good call and the Falcons would concentrate on stopping Steven Jackson, enabling Hoomanawanui to waltz into the end zone. Instead, the play ended Sam Bradford’s(notes) NFL rookie-record run of 169 consecutive passes without an interception.

    “I’m standing there saying, ‘We’ve got a touchdown here,”’ the coach said. “It’s unfortunate the way that happened.”

    Even after the interception, Spagnuolo hadn’t given up hope. The Rams got the ball back with 2:59 left at their own 40 and with one timeout, but after a 5-yard completion on first down Bradford threw three straight incompletions.

    Two plays later, Michael Turner(notes) ended any suspense with a 39-yard touchdown run.

    The loss also could have been much more lopsided, too, given Atlanta had the ball for nearly 36 minutes, if the defense hadn’t finally stiffened and forced three chip-shot field goals.

    The Falcons ran 70 plays, the Rams only 54, which minimized Jackson’s impact. Jackson had 61 yards rushing and receiving, becoming the fourth Rams player to top 10,000 yards from scrimmage, but had only 14 touches. The first nine games, Jackson averaged about 24 touches.

    “I like to be in the flow of the game and touch the ball on each and every drive,” Jackson said. “When they keep you on the sideline for so long, it makes it hard to get into a rhythm.”

    All the Rams can do now is get back to work.

    “We have six games left and that’s a long time,” said middle linebacker James Laurinaitis(notes), who had 16 tackles. “Nobody’s going to feel bad for you in this league, nobody’s going to come up to us this week and say, ‘Gosh, these guys, you know, have lost some tough battles and we feel bad for them.’

    “We’ve got to be ready to go.”

    The Rams are 0-3 on the road and won’t play their next home game until Dec. 19. Before then they’ll be at Denver, Arizona and New Orleans.


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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Yep, we could theoretically win the division with just two more wins against divisional opponents if the rest of the division continues to lose.

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    Yep, we could theoretically win the division with just two more wins against divisional opponents if the rest of the division continues to lose.
    you know this is pretty pathetic right? could you imagine a 7-9 wildcard goes on to win a SB? there would be an uproar a riot i tell ya!
    Last edited by LA Rammer; -11-24-2010 at 02:38 AM.
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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Rammer View Post
    you know this is pretty pathetic right? could you imagine a 7-9 wildcard goes on to win a SB? there would be an uproar a riot i tell ya!
    I don't think it's pathetic the Rams could win the division with 7 or 8 wins. So what?

    If this team gets rolling in the last few weeks, do you think anybody out there is going to want to play the Rams in the first round of the playoffs at the EJD?

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    I don't think it's pathetic the Rams could win the division with 7 or 8 wins. So what?

    If this team gets rolling in the last few weeks, do you think anybody out there is going to want to play the Rams in the first round of the playoffs at the EJD?

    Listen, I'd take the division any way I could get it, but a losing team doesn't deserve to make the playoffs any more than a .500 team deserves to go to a bowl game in college. It's mediocrity rewarded, which i dont agree with for a second. Unfortunately, that's the system in place. Divisional play has its benefits and its drawbacks, and one of the drawbacks is the possibility of a losing football team getting in. I'd certainly still watch the rams' playoff game, but I definitely wouldn't be celebrating their season or wearing an "NFC Division Champion" t-shirt.

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I definitely wouldn't be celebrating their season or wearing an "NFC Division Champion" t-shirt.
    you know I can print these? submit order now! sm, med, l, xl, xxl???
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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Rammer View Post
    you know this is pretty pathetic right? could you imagine a 7-9 wildcard goes on to win a SB? there would be an uproar a riot i tell ya!
    What's pathetic about a 7-9 team whooping on other teams that are/were apparently "better" because of their record? We aren't perfect but there were a few games that we should've won, and it's as simple as that. I would love to see the underdog-lowly team win the Superbowl, or at least make some noise in the playoffs. I'm fine with this.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    I agree with Varg, while it's a little sad that our division is so terrible, I get tired of seeing the same teams make the playoffs every year and do the same things in the playoffs every year. I think it's nice to see someone you don't normally see earn their way in. And yes it's still earning your way in, you still have to beat your division rivals and you still have to win games.

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    "Who is the prettiest pig in the contest?"

    I would respectfully suggest that anyone who is satisfied with a 7-9 record- even in the unlikely case of it being good enough to win a division- has incredibly low standards. Whether a team finishes first or last in their division, 7-9 is 7-9, and that, my friends is a poor record.

    The thing you could hang your hat on is that the Rams went from 1 to 7 wins in the span of a year. That would be a nice improvement.

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    "Who is the prettiest pig in the contest?"

    I would respectfully suggest that anyone who is satisfied with a 7-9 record- even in the unlikely case of it being good enough to win a division- has incredibly low standards. Whether a team finishes first or last in their division, 7-9 is 7-9, and that, my friends is a poor record.

    The thing you could hang your hat on is that the Rams went from 1 to 7 wins in the span of a year. That would be a nice improvement.
    Look at it this way. Assume we finish 7-9 and win the division ...

    Then assume we found a way to make a play and won the TB, SF, and Arizona games ...

    Would that 10-6 team really be any better than the 7-9 team?

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I'd certainly still watch the rams' playoff game, but I definitely wouldn't be celebrating their season or wearing an "NFC Division Champion" t-shirt.
    I respect your stance here, but I would definitely be celebrating if the team that went 3-13, 2-14 and 1-15 the last 3 years won the NFC West and hosted a playoff game, regardless of record. But that's just me.

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out, because I think it's entirely possible that someone from another division ends up with 1-2 more wins than the NFC West champ but misses out on a wild card spot.

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    I think a 7-9 Rams team playing at home could knock off a wildcard team. That would end the grousing. It could come down to the last game of the season against Seattle. If we beat them again and tie on record at 7-9, we win the division. First tie-breaker is head to head. Next is record in the division. We are 1-2. Seattle is 3-1. The race is wide open, but I don't see Arizona winning it. We can beat Seattle with pressure on Hasselbeck. We can beat Arizona. And we'll have SF at home. 3 more wins could take the division.
    ZGare

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Spagnuolo believes the Rams, who won only one game last season, are close to being able to play with any team.
    I'm not convinced that this team can hang with the best teams in the NFL. nor am I convinced that this team would do anything in the playoffs if they made it there. I'm happy with the progress this team has made, but there are still many areas where this team needs to improve, and some of those areas include the coaching staff. I love the Rams, and have been a fan for over 37 years, but I don't think the Rams are anywhere near being a legitimate contender.

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    Re: Spagnuolo On 4-6 Rams: 'We're Still In It'

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Rammer View Post
    you know this is pretty pathetic right? could you imagine a 7-9 wildcard goes on to win a SB? there would be an uproar a riot i tell ya!
    Yeah, I really think they should institute some minimum number of wins to be playoff-eligible. Although it's extremely unlikely, it would actually be possible under the current system for a team with 4 wins to make the playoffs. Imagine a season where:
    • No NFC West team beats any other team outside of the NFC West
    • The Rams split the season series with Arizona and Seattle, while sweeping San Francisco.
    • The other teams all split their season series against each other.
    • At the end of the season, the Rams have 4 wins, Arizona and Seattle have 3 wins each, SF has 2 wins.

    Obviously that can't happen this year, but you want to talk about a real disaster...If that one awful division really was losing all of its non-division games, there very well might be other teams in the league with 9 or 10 wins missing the playoffs while that 4-12 team entered the playoffs as the worst division champ in history.

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