It was only three short weeks ago that the Los Angeles Rams playoff chances seemed far-fetched. With back-to-back wins against two division opponents, their fortunes have shifted. With a win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and loss by the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Rams will be in the final NFC playoff spot.
However, there is still a lot of football left to be played even after this week. The Rams have games against the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers on the horizon. Most likely, Los Angeles will need to win its other four games to make the postseason.
Mike Jones from The Athletic has little to no confidence in the Rams making the postseason. Said Jones,
“A 3-6 start to the season will be hard to overcome, but the Rams are 4-1 in the NFC West, having swept the Arizona Cardinals and Seahawks. Health issues and the tough defenses of Cleveland, Baltimore and San Francisco (which beat the Rams in Week 2) might hold them in check.”
As it stands, the Rams have a 36.7 percent chance to make the postseason according to ESPN and the New York Times has them with a 44 percent chance following the Seattle Seahawks’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. That’s a little less than a coin flip. The question is, which side of the coin does it land on?
In the case that the Rams go 4-2, they have a 66-89 percent chance of making the postseason. If those four wins are against the Browns, New Orleans Saints, Washington Commanders, and New York Giants, that becomes a solid 85 percent chance. Wins against those teams seems reasonable.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently went through each contending team’s playoff chances and seemed to like the Rams’ chances. Here’s some of what Barnwell had to say,
“Do the Rams qualify as a pleasant surprise? It’s a little strange to say about an under-.500 team two years removed from a Super Bowl title, but most people wrote off this 2023 roster in the sort of season you would simulate through immediately in a video game. With Los Angeles clearly cutting salary last offseason in attempt to reset its cap and clear out space for 2024 and beyond, it looked to be retooling this campaign, if not rebuilding altogether...With three of their next four games at home and a subsequent tilt on the road against the Giants, the Rams are in position to go on a run. If the Rams can sweep the Browns, Commanders and Saints in Inglewood and win that Giants game, The Upshot’s model thinks they have a 90% chance of landing a playoff berth. For a team that hasn’t really lost a game against inferior opposition all season, that doesn’t seem like an impossible task.”
Over the final-third of the season, the Rams will be watching closely with what happens with the Packers, Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and second-place NFC South team. The Rams will still need to take care of business on their end. However, with six games left to play, they have to feel good about their chances.