EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Way back when the idea of expanded playoffs was first floated last season, we spent a little time discussing what that could mean for the St. Louis Rams, especially in the short term.
Obviously, expanding the field to 14 teams offers more opportunities for teams to get in. That's a benefit for every franchise in the league so clearly it's one for a team like the Rams that hasn't made the postseason since 2004.
On Monday afternoon, NFL Nation columnist Kevin Seifert took a closer look at what he describes as an "inevitable" move by the league.
There's a lot to chew on in Seifert's piece and I highly recommend reading it but breaking it down to its simplest form, it's the same as any other decision the league makes along these lines. It's all about the money. More playoff games equals more revenue. That's pretty simple.
Over the long haul, adding more playoff teams is going to be a plus for teams that might otherwise be left at home. Even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already said he likes the idea, in no small part because he runs a .500 team that keeps coming up short. The Rams are in a similar boat, or at least they have been the past two seasons under coach Jeff Fisher.
More to the point, the short-term benefit for St. Louis is that it is in the league's toughest division. Even if the Rams make up ground on Arizona this year, it's going to be difficult to catch San Francisco and Seattle. If that's the case -- and nothing is guaranteed -- then the Rams suddenly only have one playoff spot they can grab. It's not impossible for three teams from the same division to make it. It happened in the AFC last year, but it's certainly not easy.
The sooner the playoffs would expand, the better if you live in the NFC West. For proof, simply ask Arizona. The Cardinals went 10-6 and were playing as well as any team at the end of the year but stayed home in January.
A roundup of Monday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... The Ram-blings began the day with a look at Daryl Richardson's landing with the New York Jets. ... Next, we had some fun with numbers as we looked at some statistics of the Rams' top four rookies and how those might translate in the NFL. ... From there, we examined why the Rams are usually a little behind the rest of the league when it comes to signing their rookie class. ... Finally, we worked through the Rams' current receiver options.
John Clayton's weekly mailbag with some thoughts on DE Michael Sam.
Mel Kiper Jr. believes defensive tackle Aaron Donald can be an impact player from day 1.
At stltoday.com, Joe Lyons writes that Florida State defensive back Lamarcus Joyner is eager to make his mark.
Lyons also explores the pending absence of offensive tackle Mitchell Van Dyk because of the league's rules on graduation.
Stlouisrams.com looks at the early praise rookies have for defensive line coach Mike Waufle.