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Will the Rams Lose Them All? (Inaugural Edition)

Categories: Sports

Now that the Rams' season has progressed from bad to awful to potentially historic depths of abomination, we must confront the question: Is 0-16 likely?

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Die-hard fans -- and, I imagine, the Rams themselves -- can take comfort in the fact that since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978, no team has finished 0-16. (The Baltimore Colts, however, did manage an 0-8-1 record in the strike-shortened 1982 campaign.)

Even a pathetic 1-15 record is relatively uncommon. From 1978 through last year, (discounting 1982), only six teams have finished with one measly win -- none since the 2001 Carolina Panthers. The more common mark of futility has been 2-14; in that same time span, twenty teams have recorded that record.

So the Rams couldn't possibly go 0-16, right? Beginning this week, using the football expertise and advanced statistical knowledge that two English degrees have granted me, I'll try to answer that question.

Week 10: at New Orleans

A road game, and after an 0-4 start, the Saints seem to be coming around. On the other hand, the Rams have the benefit of the bye week. How healthy will Bulger and Jackson be? It won't matter if Brees can pick apart the secondary.

Chance of Victory: 35%

Week 11: at San Francisco

Another road game, but the Niners are a mess. The Rams should have beaten them in Week 2. A slightly above-average performance should get the job done. If not, infamy beckons.

Chance of Victory: 60%

The rest of the season after the jump.

Week 12: Seattle

When is a home-field advantage not a home-field advantage? When you play in the morgue that is the Edward Jones Dome. The Seahawks aren't impressive, but Hasselback, Alexander & Co. could easily get back on track against the Rams defense.

Chance of Victory: 30%

Week 13: Atlanta

It's too soon to tell if Byron Leftwich can give the Falcons any sort of lift. Right now, though, this looks like a winnable game for the Rams.

Chance of Victory: 60%

Week 14: at Cincinnati

Who knows which Bengals team shows up this week? Still, my sense is the Bengals, in an effort to help Marvin Lewis' job security, will finish strong.

Chance of Victory: 25%

Week 15: Green Bay

Barring a collapse, the Packers willl be fighting for a divison title and top playoff seed. The Rams will be plotting how to squander a #1 or #2 draft pick. No contest.

Chance of Victory: 15%

Week 16: Pittsburgh

Very tough to call the odds right now. If the Pats and Colts run away with the #1 and #2 seeds, the Steelers might not have much to play for. On the other hand, a second-half push by the Ravens or Browns could keep them on their toes. All things being equal, though, the Steelers probably romp.

Chance of Victory: 15%

Week 17: at Arizona

The NFC West is weak enough that, even without Leinart or Warner, the Cardinals could find themselves in the hunt for the division title at season's end. Still, they are the Cardinals.

Chance of Victory: 40%

Overall Chance of 0-16: SLIM

History is on the Rams' side. Right now I'd bet on a 2-14 finish and -- given the Rams luck -- the #2 draft pick, behind the even worse Miami Dolphins. Stay tuned. I'll update the odds after the Saints game. Unless, of course, the Rams pull off the upset.

-Ian Froeb


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