As the 9-1 Los Angeles Rams and the 9-1 New Orleans Saints look ahead to the holiday season, the path for one team to claim the top spot in the NFC may be easier than it is for the other.
The top two teams in the NFC as the league closes out Week 11 looks to be the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints, but staying on top of the conference and securing the top seed might be tougher for Drew Brees and company. While LA needs a win on Monday Night Football to keep pace, looking ahead shows one team may have an easier path than the other.
When looking at their respective schedules heading into the December stretch, it might be the Saints who play the tougher slate of opponents.
New Orleans has two tough games to close out November, including a Thanksgiving Day game against the 4-6 Atlanta Falcons and then on the road to play the 5-5 Dallas Cowboys before an early December bye week.
The Rams meanwhile have a Monday Night Football game against the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11 before their bye week to close out the month. However December may be an easier route to ending up as the top of the NFC versus New Orleans.
The last quarter of the season has the Saints playing the 6-4 Carolina Panthers on the road, before closing out their schedule at home against the 7-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers and then their finale with division foe Carolina.
It’s not inconceivable that New Orleans could see anything from 4-2 to a 3-3 record over their last six games.
Los Angeles has three road games left including a trip to play the 4-6 Detroit Lions before a Week 14 prime-time game against the 7-3 Chicago Bears. They also host a stumbling 4-6 Philadelphia Eagles the following Week 15 before closing out December against a couple of NFC West cellar dwellers. The Rams travel to play the 2-8 Arizona Cardinals then close out December at home against division rival 2-8 San Francisco 49ers.