With their win over the Washington Commanders, the Los Angeles Rams playoff chances took a big jump. They are currently the NFC’s 7th and final playoff seed. And unlike the last time they moved into a playoff spot, they will remain in position for more than a few hours.
Of course, there is plenty of football left to play before the final seeding is set, but the Rams have positioned themselves as the conference’s top contender for one of the two remaining wild-card playoff spots. Outside of the four division leaders and the Dallas Cowboys the Rams have the best chances of making the playoffs, according to the New York Times. They give the Rams a 56 percent chance of snagging the 6th or 7th playoff positions. Which is the highest among teams in the hunt for those spots:
Los Angeles Rams: 7-7 56%
Minnesota Vikings: 7-7 50%
New Orleans Saints: 7-7 41%
Seattle Seahawks: 6-7 32%
Green Bay Packers: 6-8 29%
The Rams hold tiebreakers over the Seahawks and the Saints, but the Vikings get the 6th seed for having a better record in Conference contests. The Vikings have a one-game advantage in that regard.
Rams Playoff Chances Among Teams in the Hunt
The Rams also have an advantage over the other bubble teams when comparing the most important position in football, quarterback. Matthew Stafford has the edge over the rest of this group. He has been healthier, and more consistent recently, and has vastly more experience.
Geno Smith and Derek Carr have missed time recently due to injury and the Vikings started Nick Mullens, their 4th starting QB of the year. Jordan Love is playing in his first real season of NFL quarterbacking. While he has put together good games, his inexperience has shown.
This has affected these teams’ records. They have a collective .400 winning percentage over their last five games. The Rams are trending in the right direction over that same span, going 4-1. The Packers have a 3-2 record over that span but have lost two straight after beating the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs.
Week 16 Rams vs Saints Could Be The ‘Win And They Are In’ Game
Simply put, the Rams playoff chances drop dramatically if they lose to the Saints, down to just 14 percent. It doesn’t put the nail in the coffin, but it makes Week 18 against the 49ers likely an absolute must-win.
However, if they beat the Saints this Thursday, the Rams playoff chances jump to 75 percent and a subsequent win against the New York Giants all but stamps their ticket to the post-season, they will have a 96 percent chance at that point. At that point, a loss to the 49ers would likely mean very little.
As of December 17, nine wins is the bar the teams will have to get to earn a Wild Card playoff spot.