We discussed how the outcomes of NFL games on Thanksgiving Day would impact the LA Rams' opportunities in the future yesterday. Quite honestly, the outcomes were a mixed bag for the Rams' chances, either for the 2024 NFL Draft or the probability of the Rams competing in the NFL Playoffs this year.
In terms of the LA Rams current position in the 2024 NFL Draft, we have some good news to report. Thanks to the win by the Green Bay Packers over the Detroit Lions, the Rams have leapfrogged the Packers into the 12th spot of the 2024 NFL Draft. While that is nowhere near a position that is high enough on the draft board to aim for the top rookie prospects in the draft, it is still a lofty enough perch for LA Rams fans to wish for a game changing rookie.
As a result, the latest Rams Mock Draft from Tankathon.com projects the LA Rams to select Washington quarterback Michael Penix with the 12th overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. Penix is an outstanding prospect, standing 6-foot-3 and weight 216 pounds. He is a polished hurler, competing for six years in NCAA football. This year he has thrown 262 of 394 passes (66.5 percent completion) for 3,695 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions.
But there is more afoot for the LA Rams than the 2024 NFL Draft.
Rams playoff chances improved too
While the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys both won, entrenching the likelihood of their postseason competition, the Seattle Seahawks did not taste success. That places the Seahawks at a record of 6-5, a record that drops the team from the fifth-seed in the NFC playoff ranking down to the seventh and final seed.
Keep in mind that the LA Rams, thanks to sweeping the Seahawks, win any tiebreaker scenario if the two teams end the 2023 NFL season tied. The LA Rams have a good opportunity to improve their own record this week, and the Rams face the Arizona Cardinals (2-9) in a game that could place the Rams in an ideal position for the last stretch of the 2023 NFL season.
The Rams finished 2022 with a record of 5-12. Anything better than that record is an improvement, and that is what the Rams have been hoping for all along. WIth games against the Arizona Cardinals (2-9), New York Giants (3-8), and Washington Commanders (4-8) remaining on the Rams schedule, the Rams realistically can be expected to finish the 2023 NFL season with a record of 7-10 or better.
It's not about how the LA Rams started the season, but about how the Rams finish. Right now, the Rams could end the season by winning four of the final seven games on the Rams schedule. That, more than anything else, will set the Rams up for a successful 2024 NFL season.