The LA Rams awoke on Christmas day at 10-4, and while that was among the best records in the NFL, it was only good enough for second place in the NFC West. That, in turn, pushed the Rams out of the chance to host a playoff game, and into the NFL’s traveling teams, a.k.a Wild Card teams.
The NFL Playoffs award the top four spots (seeds) to the winners of each Division. While the LA Rams were tied with the Arizona Cardinals, the Rams fell short of a series of NFL tie-breakers. In short, the 10-4 Cardinals were the NFC West Division leader, while the 10-4 LA Rams were not.
But the Rams defeated the Cardinals in Week 14. The Detroit Lions added insult to injury by defeating the Cardinals in Week 15. And the ever opportunistic Indianapolis Colts defeated the Cardinals in Week 16. As a result, the Rams ended the day, Christmas Day, atop the NFC West with a record of 10-4. The Cardinals are now in second place at 10-5.
The question now becomes, can the LA Rams remain in the first place of the NFC West Division? Well, thanks to the early start to the LA Rams Week 16 contest against the Minnesota Vikings, we won’t have long to wait for the answer.
The LA Rams take the field at 10:00 am PT to face the Minnesota Vikings on the road. The Rams are 5-2 on the road, while the Vikings are 4-2 at home. The LA Rams arrive with a three-game winning streak on the line. The Vikings host this one with a two-game winning streak of their own at stake.
While the Rams have a much more likely chance of earning a playoff berth, the Vikings know that each game is critical for their fading playoff hopes. A loss to the Rams plummets them to no better than 9-8 this year, and that is not enough to guarantee even a Wild Card berth in the postseason.