Here’s who the LA Rams need wins/losses from each week

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams are not quite eliminated from the NFL Playoffs just yet. The Rams can only end the season with a maximum total of eight wins. To earn a playoff berth, all NFC teams (or as many as are mathematically possible) must lose to ensure that they do not end the season with eight wins.

That is where the choreography of wins and losses comes into play. To check it out for yourself, you can spin up various scenarios on the ESPN 2022 NFL Playoff Machine and see how wins and losses impact the LA Rams’ chances.

While this can all get pretty complex, here are some hard and fast rules:

I: The LA Rams (4-9) must win all their remaining four games to have a chance.
We took a look at the Rams’ remaining games. You can review that article by clicking this link here:

Week 15: Dec. 19  @ Green Bay Packers
Week 16: Dec. 25  Denver Broncos
Week 17: Jan. 1      @ LA Chargers
Week 18: Jan. 8      @ Seattle Seahawks

II: The Seattle Seahawks (7-7) must lose all their remaining three games for the Rams to have a chance.

Week 16: Dec. 24  @ Kansas City Chiefs
Week 17: Jan. 1      New York Jets
Week 18: Jan. 8      LA Rams

Here’s where it gets complicated

The key to earning the final playoff berth is to get to eight wins with no more than six NFC teams (including NFC Division leaders) at or greater than eight wins. We can see that the Philadelphia Eagles (12-1), Dallas Cowboys (10-3), Minnesota VIkings (10-3), and San Francisco 49ers (10-4) have already exceeded that win total.  So, to help the LA Rams, they each benefit the Rams if they keep on winning.

Sounds weird, right? Well, it all makes sense as their wins deal losses to the teams listed below:

III (A): The New York Giants (7-5-1) must lose all of their remaining four games for the Rams to have a chance
III (B): The Washington Commanders (7-5-1) must lose all four of their remaining four games for the Rams to have a chance.
Because the Giants and Commanders face one another this week, the loser of that game must lose out for the rest of the season. If they tie again, then one or the other team must lose out for the rest of the season.

IV: Lions (6-7), Packers (5-8), Cardinals (4-9), Panthers(5-8), Saints(4-9), and Falcons (5-8) all have to have seven wins or less. The Buccaneers (6-7) may need to have seven wins or less if they lose the lead in the NFC South Division race. (see below)

We won’t dive into complex tiebreakers at this point

There are some scenarios in which multiple teams ending the season with eight wins could conceivably result in the LA Rams earning a playoff berth, but the tiebreaker rules that apply will be far too lengthy and complex to address this far out from the end of the season.

Keep in mind that the path to the NFL Playoffs for the LA Rams is to end the season with eight wins, and to have the fewest number of NFC teams finish with 8+ wins. Any NFC  team that already has reached that magic win total of 8+ helps the Rams by winning all their remaining games.

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not yet to that magic number of eight wins, they currently lead the NFC South Division and automatically earn a playoff berth as a result. Should another NFC South team overtake them, then they get the automatic berth, and the Rams must hope that the Buccaneers win no more than seven games this season.

Can the Rams do it? After the Mayfield Miracle, anything is possible. But I wouldn’t book any flights to attend the first round of the NFL Playoffs just yet. After all, why tempt fate and be disappointed?

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