Tuesday travels among LA Rams rivals in the NFC West

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams NFC West
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

As the LA Rams rest, heal and restrategize the team, it’s time to take another look at rival NFC West teams

The LA Rams reached their bye week with a record of 5-3. While it is not as lofty as some may have hoped, it’s above .500 for a team many projected to have three or fewer wins by this point of the NFL season. And it’s successful enough to position the team withing first place in the NFC West lead with a win against the rival Seattle Seahawks.

So the Rams did not plummet out of the playoff picture by losing two of their last three games. In fact, other NFC West teams struggled as well. The NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks have lost two of their last three games. The Arizona Cardinals have won two of their last three but dropped a home game against the Miami Dolphins. The San Francisco 49ers have lost two of their last three. Right now, the defending NFC Champions are nearly backs-to-the wall in terms of being forced to win all of their remaining games. Only the 49ers have a bye week remaining on their 2020 schedule.

Is the NFC West still best?

After the latest dip in the NFC West, the respect shown to the division will now be met with some detractors. People love to read about the rise of Cinderella and the fall of the Evil Queen.  Right now, teams of the west will fall in power rankings.  Still, with a combined 20-13 record, the NFC West is a very formidable division in the NFL. Only the 21-10 combined record of the AFC North is better.

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That west success shows up in the projected NFC Playoff berths, as three of the NFC West would indeed compete in the playoffs if the season ended today. The New Orleans Saints wins top-seed, and the only NFC bye week in the playoffs.  Seattle would win the NFC West, but as the second-seed, would be forced to host the seventh-seeded LA Rams. The third-seeded Green Bay Packers would host the sixth-seeded Arizona Cardinals. And the fourth-seeded Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) would host the fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)