Playoff implications for Week 17: 2 scenarios that LA Rams can clinch a playoff spot

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams
NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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The LA Rams (8-7) have been rather successful after their Week 10 BYE week, rolling along on a 5-1 hot streak that has elevated this team to compete for a berth in the NFL Playoffs. If you are shocked at the Rams' success, you haven't been reading us as regularly as we'd hoped, because we were confident that the Rams would find much more success after healing up on the BYE week.

Still, competing for the playoffs is a bit of a shortcoming for this Rams team that appears to be firing on all cylinders, save their special teams right now. The Rams offense is averaging 30+ points per game over this hot streak, due in no small part to the devastating combination of QB Matthew Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, rookie WR Puka Nacua, WR Demarcus Robinson, and RB Kyren Williams.

While the offense is among the NFL's best at scoring points, let's not turn a blind eye to the very young defense. Yes, the Rams defense is not perfect. But the Rams have done a remarkable job during this streak of forcing opposing offenses to be one dimensional. The Rams held the Baltimore Ravens running backs to 15 carries and 69 yards and 0 touchdowns. The Rams held the Washington Commander running backs to 16 carries and 48 yards and 0 touchdowns. The Rams held the New Orleans Saints running backs to 13 carries and 29 yards and 0 touchdowns.

A defense that can stop the run in the playoffs often ends up on the winning side of the scoreboard.

Can the Rams clinch a playoff spot in Week 17?

This week, the LA Rams (8-7) travel to face the New York Giants (5-10) on Sunday, December 31, 2023 at 10:00 am PT. The game will be the first game and will be televised by FOX Sports. The Giants may be eliminated from postseason competition, but they are no pushovers. The Giants enjoyed a three-game winning streak that carried them to a record of 5-8 before dropping two successive games to the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagle.

So how can the LA Rams clinch a playoff berth in Week 17? Well, both scenarios begin with a win over the Giants. Let's break down the two different scenarios for you.