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LA Rams playoff hopes cannot afford a MNF loss

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The LA Rams must win their Monday Night Football game to preserve hopes of earning a playoff berth

The LA Rams are facing their second consecutive ‘must-win’ game of the season. Unfortunately, this one is thousands of miles from home and is the fourth time that the Rams have made a trip so far from the comforts of SoFi Stadium.  That’s a brutal schedule and is a factor that is completely overlooked when ranking ‘strength of schedule’ considerations.

Any time the Rams play on the East Coast, they are at a distinct disadvantage. Not only have the Rams spent hours traveling long distances, but they must stay overnight in an unfamiliar hotel room. Finally, there is the time zone differential.  And perhaps that is why the Rams now find themselves as 4.5 point road underdogs, up from the opening odds of 3.5 points.

Rams need this win

While this game is certainly an important win for both the LA Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this one is arguably far more important for the Rams for several reasons.  The Buccaneers have one game remaining against a winning team, the Kansas City Chiefs. After that, they can go into cruise control with two games against the Atlanta Falcons, the Detroit Lions, and the Minnesota Vikings. That’s an almost guaranteed four-win stretch to close out the season.

The Rams, on the other hand, must contend with the Arizona Cardinals twice, the Seattle Seahawks, and the San Francisco 49ers. Only two home games against the New England Patriots and New York Jets can be viewed as likely victories.

Bucs may be looking ahead to the Chiefs game

Don’t let the pre-game hype fool you. The Buccaneers can drop this one, and next week’s game, and still, easily end up with a record of 11-5. The Rams do not have that luxury. In fact, if the Rams lose tonight, they will be hard-pressed to finish this season at 10-6. That will be a difficult way to end this season.

Next. LA Rams edge towards 53, picking up DE Rivers from Patriots waivers. dark

This is the LA Rams most difficult road game of the season.


But will the Rams catch the Bucs looking ahead to their next game against the Chiefs?  I think that they do. Rams play a better underdog this year, and they are definitely not expected by many to win this one with the exception of Rams fans.