LA Rams elimination from playoffs alive with Cardinals loss

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams elimination from the 2020 NFL playoffs remained alive today as the Cardinals dropped their game against the 49ers

The LA Rams can clinch a playoff berth in any number of ways. But there is one scenario where the Rams are eliminated from the playoffs, and that singular scenario became even more likely after the eliminated San Francisco 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals. The one possibility for the Rams to miss the playoffs outright involves the three-way tiebreakers for NFL teams.

Here’s how it all works. The LA Rams, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Chicago Bears must end the season tied at 9-7.  For the Rams part? If the Rams win either of their two remaining games, they are in the playoffs. So it stands to reason that the Rams losing both of their next games is the crucial element of the scenario. So if the Rams defeat the Seahawks tomorrow, the Rams will clinch their playoff berth.

But if the Rams lose?

If the Seattle Seahawks win, then the LA Rams fall to 9-6, and the Arizona Cardinals are now at 8-7. The Chicago Bears (7-7) next game at the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13) becomes crucial. The Bears must win that game, and likely will, to improve to an 8-7 record as well. Now, as long as the Bears and Cards are in a two-way tie, the Bears will win that tiebreaker. But the Bears must win a game to achieve that tie status and remain tied with the Cardinals for a two-team tiebreaker to take effect. A Bears victory and a Rams loss will increase the odds of the Rams elimination even further.

Keep in mind that the Rams can clinch a playoff berth with just one win or one tie. So even the fact of this scenario existing is by no means any sign of our endorsement that it will happen, merely that it can happen. Until the Rams clinch a playoff spot, they can be eliminated. So what if the Bears win and the Rams lose week 16?

The fate of three NFC teams

If the Rams lose and the Bears win, it will all come down to the last week of the season to determine who is in and who is out. In fact, if the Bears win, you can almost guarantee that the Bears contest with the Green Bay Packers will be pushed back to a later time slot.  That’s due to the fact that the Rams can decide to sit players if the Packers defeat the Bears at an earlier time slot. In fact, if the Bears lose either of their last two games, they are eliminated if the Cardinals defeat the Rams in week 17.

So how does this all break down? Well the LA Rams are in the playoffs if they:

Defeat or tie the Seattle Seahawks or
Defeat or tie the Arizona Cardinals. or
if the Bears lose to the Jaguars or
if the Bears lose to the Packers

Since the Cardinals have already lost to the 49ers, they are no longer a direct impact on the Rams playoffs chances outside of the week 17 match up. So how can the Packers possibly lose to the Bears? Simply stated, the Packers are the top-seeded team in the NFC.

Bears have a chance against the Packers

If the Packers defeat the Tennessee Titans in week 16, then they will clinch the top seed and can bench all their starters for the last game of the season to avoid any injuries. That means for week 16, the Rams fans should:

Hope for the Jaguars to upset the Bears or the Titans to defeat the Packers in week 16. In the following week, hope for the Packers to defeat the Bears. Of course, in both weeks cheering for the LA Rams to win both games. So if the Rams defeat Seattle, then the games will take a different turn. If the Rams win both regular-season games, the Rams will need the Packers to lose two games and the Saints to lose their last remaining regular-season game.  If all three teams end the season at 11-5, the LA Rams lay claim to the top seed of the NFC.

Next. LA Rams game day primer: Can the Rams defeat a tough Seahawks team again?. dark

The Rams cannot count on help. The Rams must win to get in. If they win their next two games, some very magical things could happen this season.