How did LA Rams clinch a playoff berth in Week 17?

Sean Mcvay, Los Angeles Rams
Sean Mcvay, Los Angeles Rams / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Week 17 was the turning point

While I understand the frustration of some fans after an ugly win, all successful NFL teams have them. Winning does not always end up as the result for the better team on the football field. Ironically, LA Rams fans should know that better than anyone in 2023. The Rams lost several games earlier in the season in which they appeared to be the better team on the football field.

While the Rams held on to defeat the New York Giants in Week 17 by a score of 26-25, The Rams did not get that win by showing up. Featured RB Kyren Williams ran for 87 yards and three rushing touchdowns. The Rams also scored a touchdown on a crisp pass to WR Cooper Kupp.

In fact, the Rams were perfect in the Red Zone, scoring all three times that they got the football inside of the Giants 20-yard line. The Rams pass rush, a non-factor in most games, sprang to life against the Giants, recording six quarterback sacks. That is due to the fact that the Giants, unlike other NFL teams, tested the Rams secondary deep.

The Giants did not have anything to lose in Week 17, so they were emboldened to take shots against the Rams secondary. But the Seattle Seahawks did have something to lose in Week 17. Losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 ensured that the Rams would clinch a playoff berth. That is due to the fact that the Rams owned the tiebreaker against the Seahawks, and if the Rams and Seahawks tie at season's end, the Rams win the playoff spot.

The Steelers defeated the Seahawks by a score of 30-23, and in doing so keep their playoff hopes alive. The Seahawks lost, and must now hope for a win in Week 18 against the Arizona Cardinals, while simultaneously hoping for a loss by the Green Bay Packers to the Chicago Bears.

As it now stands, the LA Rams can do no worse than 9-8 this season, and no other team who is still vying for a playoff berth in the NFC can improve to a record better than 9-8. That means that the LA Rams are guaranteed a berth in the NFL Playoffs.

Now, the only question is, will the Rams enter the NFL Playoffs as the sixth seed or the seventh seed?