LA Rams fans could only sit back and watch Week 13's episode of the NFL's Thursday Night Football. But don't think for one second that the Rams had no skin in the game. The outcome held a huge impact on the LA Rams playoff chances.
Let me explain:
The LA Rams had to feel torn in the Thursday Night Football clash that pitted the playoff hopeful Seattle Seahawks (6-5) against the home field Dallas Cowboys (8-3). If the Seahawks won, they would halt a two-game losing streak, and win the playoff tiebreaker with the Cowboys by defeating them in head to head competition.
If the Cowboys won the game, they would finally earn a victory over a team with a winning record. Better yet, they would solidify their chokehold on the fifth-seeded berth to the NFC playoffs, and keep the pressure on the NFL-leading Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) for the NFC Eastern Division title.
Seahawks stumble? Check. Now can Rams rally?
While many games at this time of an NFL season holds some level of impact for NFL teams, whether in terms of competing in postseason play or improving the team's position in the order of making selections in the upcoming draft, this game held plenty of impact for many NFC teams as well.
The Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, LA Rams, and even the New Orleans Saints all benefitted from the Seahawks' loss to the Cowboys by a score of 41-35. In losing, the Seahawks dropped to 6-6 and dropped from a sixth to seventh seed in the NFL Playoffs race. Better still, the Seahawks can drop even further in the playoff picture if the Rams, Packers, or Saints win their contests in Week 13.
If the Rams can win against the Cleveland Browns in Week 13, they will tie the Seattle Seahawks for second-place in the NFC Western Division. But thanks to the Rams sweep of the Seahawks, the Rams will win the tie-breaker.
The next game on the Rams' schedule is playing the stifling defense of the Cleveland Browns. While the outcome of this 2023 NFL season will always come down to how the Rams' schedule plays out, the Rams now have more self-determination over their chances. As long as the Rams continue to win, that is.