EARTH CITY, Mo. -- If the St. Louis Rams can somehow manage to win their final three games, they'd end the year at 8-8, the first time they've finished .500 since 2006 and the third time they've done it in the past 10 seasons.
What they can't do, however, is finish this season with a winning record, an achievement that has now eluded them for a full decade. That's right, Sunday's loss to Arizona dropped the Rams to 5-8 on the season and not only officially eliminated them from playoff contention but took them out of the running for finishing on the positive side of .500.
Not that the Rams' finishing .500 or worse should come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the team in recent years or, really, since it moved to St. Louis in 1995. The St. Louis version of the Rams has taken futility to new heights, er, lows.
Since the Rams came to town, they have had exactly four winning seasons, all of which came during the heyday of the "Greatest Show on Turf" era: 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003. They made the playoffs and actually won a game there in 2004 but it's been all downhill since.
In the 157 games the Rams have played since 2004, they have a record of 49-107 and have been outscored by 1,143 points or a per game average of 25.0 to 17.8.
Clearly, the Rams' current rebuilding project is in only its second year but even a .500 finish would at least offer a bit more hope that a new 10-year streak won't begin in 2014.
A roundup of Monday's Rams stories appearing here on ESPN.com. ... We began the morning with this week's Upon Further Review, examining four hot issues coming out of Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. ... From there, we offered a late morning edition of Ram-blings with a focus on a strange sequence in Sunday's game. ... Next, it was time for rookie review with snap counts and production from the rookie class against Arizona. ... Then, we delved further into the ongoing penalty issues that are plaguing the team. ... Finally, we updated the injury of rookie Tavon Austin.
At stltoday.com, columnist Bernie Miklasz says he doesn't want to hear any more excuses from the Rams.
Joe Strauss discusses the Rams falling behind in the NFC West division.
Jim Thomas notes the team's interesting approach to the right side of the offensive line against Arizona.
At 101sports.com, home of 101 ESPN radio in St. Louis, Randy Karraker offers his always enlightening 10 takeaways from Sunday's game.
Turf Show Times says the Rams' disappointing season should have been easier to see coming.
In that same corner of cyberspace, you can see Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett blatantly step on guard Chris Williams' hand.