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Week 11 NFC playoff picture sees Los Angeles Rams on the outside looking in

It’s gonna be a tough road to get into the mix at this point.

Los Angeles Rams P Johnny Hekker walks off the field at Heinz Field after throwing an interception in the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10, Nov. 10, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams P Johnny Hekker walks off the field at Heinz Field after throwing an interception in the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10, Nov. 10, 2019.
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Week 10 did not go well for the Los Angeles Rams in terms of the playoff picture.

The Rams didn’t handle their own business losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 12-17. The Seattle Seahawks got a huge overtime road win over the until-then-undefeated San Francisco 49ers, 27-24. And the Minnesota Vikings beat the Dallas Cowboys in JerryWorld, 28-24.

If you’re tracking at home, that’s 0 for 3.

Here’s how things are shaping up for the Rams to make a playoff push heading into the tail end of the season

  1. San Francisco 49ers (8-1)
  2. Green Bay Packers (8-2)
  3. New Orleans Saints (7-2)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (5-4)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (8-2)
  6. Minnesota Vikings (7-3)
  7. Los Angeles Rams (5-4)
  8. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)
  9. Carolina Panthers (5-4)
  10. Chicago Bears (4-5)

At this point, I think we can shuffle off the teams with only three wins or less in the Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants and Washington Playoff Missers.

The Rams have a tiebreaker over the other 5-win teams right now thanks to NFC win%, but that doesn’t really matter.

What we’re lookin at is the uphill climb to try and catch the wild card teams from the NFC West or North. Right now, that’s the Seahawks and Vikings, but they’re nipping at the 49ers’ and Packers’ heels, respectively. Whomever it is that comes up short in those two races, that’s who the Rams are chasing to try and get into the postseason. The Rams will also have to stave off any challenge from the Eagles and Panthers to do the same.

Here’s how things are shaping up for Week 11:

San Francisco 49ers v. Arizona Cardinals

Would be a hell of a shocker if QB Kyler Murray can head up to Santa Clara and get a W. The one thing I’d put on the table? After this one, the Niners have the Packers, Baltimore Ravens and Saints.

Say it with me...trap game!

Green Bay Packers - bye

The Pack get a chance to heal up and watch things take shape around them in the NFC North and the conference as a whole this weekend.

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With the Panthers losing two of the last three, the Saints are riding high in the NFC South. Hard to see the Bucs pulling an upset here. We get a Saints-Panthers Week 12 game that might just ice the division for Nola before a Saints-Falcons rematch on Thanksgiving.

Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions

It’s not a must-win, but my goodness if the Cowboys are gonna run out past the Eagles this is the kind of game they really need to handle business. Regardless of what happens, we have a legit race in the NFC East.

Seattle Seahawks - bye

After the huge win over the Niners, the Seahawks can sit comfortably for a week before getting back into the fray. Their first three games out of the bye? Eagles, Vikings, Rams. Strap in...

Minnesota Vikings v. Denver Broncos

Former Rams QB Brandon Allen led the Broncos to an inspired win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. With rookie QB Drew Lock coming off IR for his first practices of the year for the Broncos, they have a dilemma in how to handle their QB depth chart in the next few weeks. At 3-6, they’re out of the AFC playoff push, but they’ve got to handle the Allen/Lock balance delicately to ensure they don’t put their 2020 season at risk before 2019’s even over.

All that being said, Minnesota has four of their final six games at home. If they ramp it up at U.S. Bank Stadium down the stretch, they’re gonna be in.

Los Angeles Rams v. Chicago Bears

What looked like a game that could potentially decide the #1 seed in the NFC three months ago is now a desperation fight in the playoff push. Stakes, high.

Philadelphia Eagles v. New England Patriots

The Eagles have the Pats and Seahawks at home the next two games. Four of their last five are against the Dolphins, Giants and Washington. If they can go 1-1 in these next two, that might be good enough to take over the NFC East from Dallas down the stretch. That’s a tall ask though.

Carolina Panthers v. Atlanta Falcons

ATL spoiled New Orleans’ six-game winning streak with a shocking 26-9 win on Sunday. Could they ruin Carolina’s recent good form? While it wasn’t really a trap game candidate for New Orleans in Week 10, it sure might be for Carolina in Week 11 as they’ll head to New Orleans in Week 12. NFC South drama is so damn sloppy.

With Week 10 going so horribly for the Rams in the playoff race, they simply have to start racking up W’s to get into the mix. It’s a tough two-game slate with Chicago and Baltimore in front of us before a TON of NFC West action, but the Rams simply can’t go 0-2 here. While 1-1 would hurt, it would still offer a window to 11-5. Obviously, a 2-0 run catapults the Rams into sincere contention.

Time to see what the Rams do with their backs against the wall.