Despite a win in Week 12, Rams are no closer to an NFL Playoffs berth

The LA Rams are very much in the NFL Playoffs race, and could earn a berth as soon as Week 13. Here is how

NFC Championship - Terry Bradshaw, Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
NFC Championship - Terry Bradshaw, Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Okay, the LA Rams are now 5-6, have won their last two games against NFC Western Division rivals, and have taken themselves out of the running for a Top-10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, if only temporarily. So the focus of today's article is not about that draft, but about the LA Rams chances of earning a playoff berth this season.

Still, if you wanted the LA Rams to improve in terms of seeding, that hasn't happened yet. The Rams are fighting for one of three wildcard berths, awarded as the fifth, sixth, and seventh seeds, to postseason competition. But the Rams remain as the ninth-seeded team. For now, at least.

With the win in Week 12, the LA Rams have nearly returned to a .500 record. Still, the Rams remain queued as the ninth NFC team for the NFL Playoffs., That means that the Rams will need to continue winning and hope for teams ahead of them in the seeding to lose games.

The next game will be a huge test for the Rams. The Browns are 7-4, but injuries have been stacking up for them so far this season. If the Rams can win in Week 13, then some magical things begin to happen. At least, the possibility of some magical things start to occur.

With Week 12 firmly in the NFL annals, we turn our attention to Week 13. With the help of an online NFL Playoff scenario tool, the ESPN 2023 NFL Playoff machine, we can begin our scenarios that showcase how the Rams can earn a playoff berth this season.

If the LA Rams (5-6) defeat the Cleveland Browns (7-4), if the Dallas Cowboys (8-3) clobber the Seattle Seahawks (6-5), and if the Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) overcome the Green Bay Packers (5-6), the LA Rams will ascend to the seventh-seeded team in the NFC Playoffs race. So let's summarize what the Rams need to happen in Week 13:

Rams need games to go this way in Week 13

  1. LA Rams (5-6) over the Cleveland Browns (7-4)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (8-3) over the Seattle Seahawks (6-5)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) over the Green Bay Packers (5-6)

If those three games go the Rams way, then the LA Rams simply need to keep winning to ensure that they retain that playoff berth. Of course, there are other teams in the running, who are more than happy to leapfrog over the Rams if the Rams lose any games. Those teams include:

  • New Orleans Saints (5-6)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
  • New York Giants (4-8)
  • Washington Commanders (4-8)
  • Chicago Bears (4-8)
  • Atlanta Falcons (5-6)

One of the three NFC South teams - Saints, Buccaneers, or Falcons, will win the fourth seed by winning the division. But Rams fans should be rooting against all teams above, plus the Seahawks, Cowboys, and Packers every week from now on.

Of course, in any week where two teams in the list face one another, like the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13, cheer for the Cowboys, as the Rams win all tiebreakers with the Seahawks.

It's almost surreal to grasp the fact that the Rams could be a seventh-seeded NFC Playoffs team if games fall the right way in Week 13. This is a team that was once 3-6 and focusing on the 2024 NFL Playoffs. But the Rams understand that young players improve rapidly, and it's always better to finish an NFL season on a hot streak.

Will the LA Rams earn a playoff berth? I'm not sure. But I do know that I would not want to be an NFL team that must face this Rams team the rest of the way.