The Los Angeles Rams despite being 3-6, can and should make the playoffs in the NFC playoff picture. There have been many bumps along the road, but with a healthy roster and winnable games in their future, the Rams must put their past behind them and stack victories that they are capable of to climb into a wild card berth that is anyone’s game.
It’s not as crazy as you think.
They have had a wacky and wild season at the halfway point. The team finally received a much needed bye to get healthy but before all of that they were in every single game until a surprising blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Rams can hang with anyone
The team really showed in the first nine games that they are capable of hanging with anyone. The big issue for the Rams has been injuries, finishing games and 4th-down decisions. The good news is that Sean McVay had a chance to sit down and take it all in over the bye week. He had a chance to take a step back and look in the mirror. He had a chance to evaluate the team. We have already seen some moves such as the signing of Carson Wentz and how he told us all on the Coach McVay Show that we will be seeing more of Quentin Lake moving forward. Adjustments are going to be made in the second half personnel and player wise but what about McVay?
The Rams kick off their last leg of the season with a rematch against the Seattle Seahawks. It’s worth mentioning that the Rams have only scored 30 points or more once this season and it was against Seattle on the road. Matthew Stafford since coming over to the Rams is 3-0 when taking on Seattle. For the most part, Sean McVay has dominated Seattle over the years. He’s 8-5 all time against Pete Carroll and last year both games came down to the wire while starting quarterbacks other than Matthew Stafford who missed both games. Funny enough, Seattle has not seen Cooper Kupp since December 21st when he went for nine catches and 136 yards to go along with two touchdowns.
The schedule is winnable
Now, should the Rams win and sweep Seattle in the season series again like they did in the Super Bowl season, the Rams have a path to make the playoffs and even steal the sixth seed. A big reason for this is that the Rams would move to 4-6 with a winnable schedule ahead while the Seahawks would fall to 6-4 with a murders row of games ahead against teams like the 49ers twice, Eagles and Cowboys. The Rams could ruin Seattle and propel themselves into the stratosphere with a win this Sunday.
The Rams road to the playoffs after the Seattle game would then be the Arizona Cardinals who they blew out the last time and have notoriously had Kyler Murray’s number in the past. The Cleveland Browns who will now officially be without Deshaun Watson for the season and will be starting either PJ Walker or rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson the rest of the way. The Ravens would be the one wicked tough game as they are one of the game’s best teams and Lamar Jackson destroyed the Rams the last time he saw them. After that the Rams would play the Commanders who traded away their two best pass rushers at the deadline. They would then take on the Saints in their last primetime game of the season at SoFi Stadium, a team that is very beatable. Then after that the Rams would head to Metlife to take on the Giants where they have outscored them 89-28 under Sean McVay. After that would be a season wrap-up against the 49ers who might be sitting some starters ahead of the playoffs if they aren’t in contention for that number one overall seed. It’s actually set up very nicely for the Rams.
In the past, I used to look at the playoff machines and try to find and figure out ways the St. Louis Rams could make the playoffs. It always felt like a pipe dream.
It would be one thing if the Dallas game was representative of their entire season but that was an anomaly in all honesty. One thing that really can indicate whether or not a team will wake up or not is if they are staying in games going down to the wire. We saw it at the start of the year with the Vikings, they were losing one possession games like crazy and started 0-3. Now, the Vikings are 6-4 and a big reason is because of a statement win against the 49ers without their star Justin Jefferson. The Rams could very well get that statement win this weekend and would put themselves in a position to do what the Vikings did just a little later than maybe they would have liked to.
The Rams are healthy, the standings are close
The Rams are as healthy as you could ask for this late in the season, they have a favorable schedule aside from two games, they have plenty of talent, great coaching and they play in one of the weakest NFC conferences we have ever seen. They are currently 12th in the standings behind the likes of the Packers, Falcons, Commanders, Buccaneers, Vikings, Cowboys and Seahawks. However, out of those teams, only the Cowboys really look like a clear favorite to make the playoffs, the Vikings are looking good right now but will need to keep it up as will Josh Dobbs, Seahawks look beatable, the Falcons are a bad road team, Commanders are a bad home team, the Buccaneers have lost four of their last five games and the Packers had a hard time finishing off L.A. at home with Brett Rypien at quarterback. The point is, there isn’t a true scary team outside of maybe the Vikings.
It all starts this weekend, will the Rams make the playoffs or is it draft season again in November for Rams fans? We’re going to find out. One thing I won’t do is bet against Sean McVay coming off a bye with a healthy roster for the most part. The Seahawks have been an up and down team but the Rams know how to beat them. I think they get it done and I think as long as they do get it done they can go on a 6-2 or 7-1 run to find the playoffs for the fifth time in seven years.