Los Angeles Rams: What to know about the NFC West in Week 9

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams shakes hands with Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after a game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-20. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams shakes hands with Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after a game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-20. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Half of the NFC West is off in Week 9, but the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks have big games that kick off the second half of 2018.

The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks have big Week 9 games while the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals sit out Sunday in the NFL. The Niners just came off of a big win 34-3 over their Bay Area neighbor the Oakland Raiders, and the Cards are on their bye week.

Best of all, the two best teams in the NFC West are front and center in afternoon tilts against two teams who are both contenders for not just postseason play, but routinely get some love for the Super Bowl.

The biggest of the two Week 9 games is the undefeated and Super Bowl favorite Los Angeles Rams on the road for a tough test against the 6-1 New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile the Seahawks host a good 5-2 Los Angeles Chargers.

While both are big games, it’s 4-3 Seattle who needs the win most of all the four teams. A loss drops them back to .500 with three huge games in three consecutive weeks beginning on the road against the Rams in Week 10, a home game against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Week 11, and then they close out the month of November in Week 12 against the Carolina Panthers on the road and with an early kick on the East Coast.

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Week 9 might also provide greater clarity as the second half of the season gets under way, especially with the two premier teams in the NFC.

At 6-1, the Saints may be the first team to finally provide Los Angeles with their first loss of the season. For the Rams, a win in New Orleans solidifies their lead not just in the division, but in the NFC as a whole, moving them to 9-0 and the Saints, their closest in the conference to 6-2, two games back.

As for the two teams off on Sunday, the 49ers and Cardinals are clearly not part of any postseason picture for 2018 and are now playing for pride. San Francisco has the New York Giants at home and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road, while Arizona gets the Raiders at home and the Chargers on the road to close out the month for both teams.

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November will define a lot for the top two in the NFC West, with the exception of a division championship which seems all but but decided for the Rams.