NFL Playoff scenarios created by LA Rams final 5 games

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams NFL Playoffs
(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /

How the west was won

All four teams are in the race to win the NFC West, but the San Francisco 49ers must win out and hope for help to overtake the other teams. So let’s examine their ‘needs’ right now. At 5-6, the 49ers now host the Buffalo Bills (8-3), Washington (4-7), travel to face the Dallas Cowboys (3-8), travel for the Arizona Cardinals (6-5), and close out the season with the Seattle Seahawks (8-3).

Since the 49ers are a game behind the Cardinals, they will likely be rooting for them to defeat the LA Rams twice. But the Cardinals also have remaining games against the NFC East in the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s unlikely that a Cardinals team that can defeat the Rams twice will lose either of those games and then also lose to the 49ers.  So the 49ers will likely be aiming for just a playoff spot.

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Rams and Cardinals have real shots

The Rams and Cardinals face off twice. If either team wins both of those games, that will most certainly lead to a showdown with the Seattle Seahawks. Since the Rams are just a game behind the Seahawks, they have a better advantage. If the Rams and Cardinals split, that benefits the Seahawks as they will remain ahead of either team.

For the Rams to take the NFC West Championship, they will need to win both games against the Arizona Cardinals, defeat the Seahawks, hope that Seattle loses to the 49ers, and win at least one of the games against the New York Jets and the New England Patriots. If the Rams win out the remaining five games, the best that Seattle can do is 12-4 as well, and the Rams would win the tie-breaker based on face to face competition.