St. Louis Rams' Upset of New Orleans Saints Is Too Little, Too Late

Brian TaylorCorrespondent IIINovember 1, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 30: Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams runs for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome on October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Saints 31-21.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The shocking upset of the winless St. Louis Rams over Super Bowl contenders New Orleans Saints may be the spark that the Rams need to get them going. Unfortunately, they have waited until too late in the season for it to make a difference.

If the goal is for the Rams to win the division, or even just to earn a wild card spot, they are going to need a lot of luck.

Currently, the Rams (1-6) sit five games behind the division-leading San Francisco 49ers (6-1). The only possible way for St. Louis to win the division is to win out and finish 10-6 and pray that the 49ers lose five of their next nine games.

Along that stretch for St. Louis are games at Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Luckily for the Rams, the 49ers have to travel to Seattle, as well as play the Giants, Ravens, and Steelers.

While the Rams' schedule does get much easier in the second half, they can play nothing less than perfect football. Despite having losing records, the Browns and Seahawks are tough opponents, especially at home.

On the other hand, San Francisco's toughest games are the four previously mentioned. The advantage the 49ers hold, however, is that Baltimore and Pittsburgh will have to travel across the country for them. Rams fans will have to hope that they blow one or two games.

For the Rams to earn a wild card berth, it appears that the only possible scenario is for them, again, to win all of their remaining nine games.

This road seems a lot less likely because they have already dropped games to every team in the NFC East. Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas, and New York will all be in contention for the two NFC wild card spots. St. Louis' losses to these teams drops them behind if a tiebreaker situation arises.

While the win over the Saints gives Rams fans something to be proud of, we should temper our expectations. The surprising start to the season by the 49ers leaves the Rams in a large hole out of which to dig. In order to make the playoffs, St. Louis must play perfect football and have a lot of luck on their side.