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Rams rooting guide to reach the postseason

The L.A. Rams are 5-6 and the playoffs are more than just a pipe dream now

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are 5-6 and just won their first back to back games of the season. Sure, they beat the Cardinals but this win and the nature of how it all went down might point to just more than beating a bad team. The Rams might actually be a good team now that they have their star running back Kyren Williams back in action. The team won exactly one game without Williams and now has a winning record with him.

I mentioned it last week: The key was taking down Seattle and now just like that the Rams own the tiebreaker against the Seahawks and are a game away from stealing the seventh spot in the playoff standings.

According to the NY Times interaction playoff simulation, the Rams currently have a now 42-percent chance of making the playoffs following the Bears win over the Vikings. This is a 26 percent jump from last week. Keep in mind, this is a predictive model that simulates games based on the model itself.

Here are several scenarios in which the L.A. Rams can complete a 3-6 turnaround into a playoff berth (playoff odds in parentheses):

11-6 (Run the table)

Win vs. Browns (52%)

Win vs. Ravens (76%)

Win vs. Commanders (84%)

Win vs. Saints (95%)

Win vs. Giants (99%)

Win vs. 49ers (100%)

10-7 (5-1 the rest of the way)

Win vs. Browns (52%)

Loss vs. Ravens (45%)

Win vs. Commanders (56%)

Win vs. Saints (71%)

Win vs. Giants (85%)

Win vs. 49ers (99%)

9-8 (4-2 the rest of the way)

Win vs. Browns (52%)

Loss vs. Ravens (45%)

Win vs. Commanders (56%)

Win vs. Saints (71%)

Win vs. Giants (85%)

Loss vs. 49ers (81%)

As you can see, the Rams would greatly increase their 37-percent odds if they just win a few games against teams that currently have losing records, including the Commanders, and Giants. Other teams, like the Browns and Saints, will or could be working with backup quarterbacks. The toughest games have always been the Ravens and 49ers on the schedule. Those will be tough but it is a week by week basis for the Rams to be fair.

8-9 (3-3 the rest of the way)

Loss vs. Browns (23%)

Loss vs. Ravens (16%)

Win vs. Commanders (23%)

Win vs. Saints (33%)

Win vs. Giants (44%)

Loss vs. 49ers (32%)

Other paths

What if the Rams lose to the Browns and Ravens instead of the 49ers week 18 and those are their two losses?

Loss vs. Browns (23%)

Loss vs. Ravens (16%)

Win vs. Commanders (23%)

Win vs. Saints (33%)

Win vs. Giants (44%)

Win vs. 49ers (86%)

It’s still worth mentioning, ESPN’s analytical matchup predictor has the Rams finishing the season 9-8 with only losses to the Ravens and 49ers. They are favored in the other five matchups the rest of the way. The Rams are heavy favorites against the Commanders and Giants at over 70 percent win likely while the 49ers and Ravens have a 70 percent win percentage against the Rams as heavy favorites.

The bottom line is the Rams are back in the hunt. Not as a pipe dream but as a legit playoff contender. If they drop any games they would want those one or two games to be against the Ravens or Browns as they have no impact on the NFC playoff race. If L.A. had to drop any NFC games the best one to lose would be to the 49ers. The Saints, Commanders and even Giants still have a shot at the playoffs.

Here’s your weekly rooting guide if you want the Rams to get into the playoffs. This is of course the perfect scenario for each game the rest of the way.

Week 13:

Rams victory over Browns

Cowboys victory over Seahawks

Lions victory over Saints

Jets victory over Falcons

Panthers victory over Buccaneers

Eagles victory over 49ers (NFC West Title implications)

Chiefs victory over Packers

Week 14:

Rams victory over Ravens

Buccaneers victory over Falcons

Lions victory over Bears

Panthers victory over Saints

Raiders victory over Vikings

49ers victory over Seahawks

Giants victory over Packers

Week 15:

Rams victory over Commanders

Bengals victory over Vikings

Browns victory over Bears

Panthers victory over Falcons

Buccaneers victory over Packers

Cardinals victory over 49ers (NFC West Title Implications)

Eagles victory over Seahawks

Week 16:

Rams victory over Saints

Titans victory over Seahawks

Colts victory over Falcons

Lions victory over Vikings

Panthers victory over Packers

Jaguars victory over Buccaneers

Cardinals victory over Bears

Eagles victory over Giants

Ravens victory over 49ers (NFC West Title Implications)

Week 17:

Rams victory over Giants

Bears victory over Falcons

Saints victory over Buccaneers

Commanders victory over 49ers (NFC West Title Implications)

Steelers victory over Seahawks

Packers victory over Vikings

Week 18:

Rams victory over 49ers

Lions victory over Vikings

Bears victory over Packers

Cardinals victory over Seahawks

Panthers victory over Buccaneers

The pipe dream is no longer the playoffs. The Rams can do this. They will need teams like the Packers, Vikings and Seahawks to get out of the way a bit. However, the pipe dream here is the NFC West title. The Rams have a 1 percent chance of winning the West. The 49ers don’t exactly have it easy the rest of the way and there is one more head to head matchup.

Should the Rams run the table they would go 11-6 and should the 49ers run the table they would go 13-4. However, the 49ers have the Ravens, Eagles and Rams left on their schedule. Seattle, Arizona and Washington are the other three which make it seem more like a pipe dream. Here’s the final scenario on how the Rams can do the unthinkable.

Week 13:

Rams victory over Browns (2%)

Eagles victory over 49ers (3%)

Week 14:

Rams victory over Ravens (4%)

Seahawks victory over 49ers (13%)

Week 15:

Rams victory over Commanders (17%)

Cardinals victory over 49ers (24%)

Week 16:

Rams victory over Saints (25%)

Ravens victory over 49ers (31%)

Week 17:

Rams victory over Giants (35%)

Commanders victory over 49ers (92%)

Week 18:

Rams victory over 49ers (99%)

Now, the 49ers aren’t losing the rest of their games so it’s incredibly unlikely but if the Rams catch fire and the 49ers drop three games one of which is against either the Seahawks and Cardinals, the Rams should they win out would own the tiebreaker due to a 5-1 division record to a 49ers 4-2 or even 3-3 division record.