LA Rams playoff path: 3 scenarios to advance to round 2

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams NFL Playoffs
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams can still claim a wildcard berth in the NFL Playoffs, but which of three possible spots affords the Rams the clearest path to round two?

It may be presumptuous to even picture the LA Rams in the NFL Playoffs this year. After all, even the mention that the Rams are at the cusp of the postseason has afforded the team nothing. Each event that would have locked up the Rams playoff spot for the past two weeks has failed. Whether it was the LA Rams winning a game, or another team losing a game, the results have been the same. The Rams have failed to claim a playoff berth. And now, they must do so, or regroup for a 2021 NFL season.

Still, there is life yet for the Rams to claim a wildcard berth.  So let’s break down the three possible scenarios for the LA Rams. Of course, if the Rams win, they are either a fifth or sixth seed wildcard playoff team. If the Rams lose, they are the seventh seed in the NFC Playoffs. So let’s examine each scenario:

Seventh seed – Bears lose/Rams lose

If the Rams eek into the NFL playoffs as the seventh seed, they will do so as a result of a three-game losing streak. And the Rams will face the second-seeded NFC team, which will be either the New Orleans Saints or the Seattle Seahawks. While anything can happen once the Rams get into the playoffs, this is the worst-case scenario for multiple reasons.

The two most obvious reasons are the Rams will be in freefall mode with a three-game losing streak. That is a huge psychological disadvantage for the team, especially if the team is still struggling with absentee starters. But the second reason could be even more impactful. The Rams will face the second seed. Right now, the chaos to NFL rosters is a wildfire. Many teams have felt a huge impact from positive COVID-19 testing this week. And so, the second-seeded team is likely to be the team least impacted.

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If the Rams win, they will travel to the well-rested top-seed. While the Rams would face the Green Bay Packers, a team I believe that the Rams match up well against, the team will be too few key starters to have much of a chance for a two-game winning streak.  But there is hope that as the Rams advance, other starters will return to health. Still, the path from the sixth seed is easier, and we can examine that next: