What are the dream outcomes for Week 18 games for the LA Rams?

Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

Okay, the LA Rams (9-7) must travel to and play against their NFC West Division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers (12-4) in Week 18, the final game of the 2023 NFL season. Complicating the matter is the fact that the LA Rams have eight players projected to sit out this one, pushing the Rams roster to the upper limit to ensure that the team has sufficient reserves on hand to suit up and play if the need arises.

To ensure that the Rams have enough players on hand, the team expectedly elevated two players from the practice squad for Week 18: Reserve QB Dresser Winn and reserve LB Olakunle Fatukasi.

Of course, the hope for Week 18 is that the LA Rams suffer no injuries, and win the game to improve to a record of 10-7. We have already touched base on how the LA Rams would benefit from a win to finish the season. But what would an ideal Week 18 outcome look like for the LA Rams? Ultimately, the answer is a simple one If the LA Rams win in Week 18, they are cemented in as the Number 6 team in the NFC, and nothing can change that. So an injury-free win would be ideal for the Rams. But what about the outcomes of other games?

Vikings (7-9) @ Lions (11-5) (10:00 am PT)

With a win by either the Cowboys or the Eagles, the Detroit Lions are locked into entering the NFC Playoffs with a berth no better than third seed. As long as the Rams hold the sixth-seed berth, that creates a matchup that everyone in the NFL would love to see. The LA Rams, led by former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, travelling to Detroit to take on the Detroit Lions, led by former Rams quarterback Jared Goff, in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs.

Rams fans should root for: Lions

Cowboys (11-5) @ Commanders (4-12) (1:25 pm PT)

As unlikely of a scenario, the Cowboys are devastatingly effective at home in 2023. In fact, the Cowboys have a perfect 8-0 record at home, but a sub-par 3-5 record on the road. If the LA Rams face the Cowboys in Dallas again, the chances of emerging with a win are less than amirable. So let's hope for the Eagles, and not the Cowboys, to win the NFC East Division, which forces the Cowboys to fall to the fifth-seed, to play their postseason games on the road, and to not cross paths with the LA Rams unless and until both teams face off in the NFC Championship Game.

Rams should root for: Commanders

Eagles (11-5) @ Giants (5-11) (1:25 pm PT)

In their regular season game, the LA Rams lost to the Eagles by a score of 23-14. The Rams failed to score in the second half of the game, and all but abandoned the run. I like the LA Rams chances against the Eagles in a rematch. The Eagles have lost four of their last five, with the only win coming against the New York Giants. It's not how you start the season, but how you end it. The Eagles are not finishing the 2023 NFL season on a high note.

Rams fans should root for: Eagles

Bears (7-9) @ Packers (8-8) (1:25 pm PT)

The only scenario in which the Rams fall to the seventh seed in the NFC Playoffs rankings is if the Rams lose to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 18, while the Green Bay Packers defeat the ever-improving Chicago Bears. The Bears have won four of their last five games, while the Packers have won three of their last five. Ideally, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. On that principle alone, Rams fans should cheer for the Bears.

Rams fans should root for: Bears

Seahawks (8-8) @ Cardinals (4-12) (1:25 pm PT)

The LA Rams swept both the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals this season. So even if the Seahawks win this game, the Rams win any tiebreakers and will remain a sixth-seeded team. But the Cardinals at 4-12 are on track to claim a Top-5 draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. If the Cardinals win, that early draft pick could fall all the way down to eight. No sense in adding fuel to the Cardinals off-season bonfire.

Rams fans should root for: Cardinals

There is no better outcome for the LA Rams in Week 18 than to defeat the San Francisco 49ers and emerge from the game without injuries. But if you wanted to sprinkle in some extra cake toppings, the above outcomes in Week 18 games would create the most favorable NFL Playoffs scenario for the LA Rams.