The LA Rams (3-4) must travel to face the Dallas Cowboys (4-2) in Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season. And the nasty NFL schedulers felt completely justified in pitting the Rams against their second NFL opponent coming off their BYE in two weeks. That's right, the Cowboys were able to kick back in their recliners last week and watch football, preparing to face the Rams in Dallas this week.
Apparently the NFL loves to cover all their bases for the Dallas Cowboys.
But a win by the LA Rams in Week 8 is not just good for LA Rams and Rams fans, but it's good for the entire NFC Playoffs race as a whole. Here's why:
NFC would be better off with a Rams win in Week 8
If you look beyond the four NFC Division leaders: The Philadelphia Eagles (5-2), San Francisco 49ers (5-2), Detroit Lions (5-2), and the Atlanta Falcons (4-3), you will find seven NFL teams who are vying for three NFC Wildcard slots. Those teams are:
- Seattle Seahawks (4-2)
- Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
- Minnesota Vikings (3-4)
- LA Rams (3-4)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)
- Washington Commanders (3-4)
- New Orleans Saints (3-4)
- Green Bay Packers (2-4)
As you can see by the chart above, there are plenty of teams that are still very much in the running for a playoff berth in the NFC. But how long wlll that last? If the Rams fall to 3-5 after 8 games, or if the Dallas Cowboys reach five wins in just seven games, that will have a huge impact on how the NFC playoff seeding will take shape.
Rams need to play flawless football
At five losses, the Rams may be backed into a corner where the team can lose no more than one or two games through the rest of the season to have a realistic chance of posteseason competition. Meanwhile, if the Cowboys win their fifth game in seven attempts, they simply need to play .500 football, or go 5-5, to secure a berth in the 2024 NFL Playoffs.
The key to winning this game is for the Rams offense to finally synch up and start scoring a lot of points. That is easier said than done, as the Dallas Cowboys have only allowed 16.7 points to be scored per game. The Rams' offense has only averaged 22,1 points per game, despite the outstanding play of rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua.
No matter how NFL fans cheer in this one, the Rams players will need to show up and play nearly flawless football in all three phases of the game. That is never an easy task on the road, but is even more difficult facing the Cowboys after their BYE.
Can the Rams pull off an upset? Stay tuned.