Matthew Stafford, Sean McVay, Rams
May 27, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay speaks with quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during oraganized team activities. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Home » Blog » NFL playoff picture, Week 17: Rams try to win West

NFL playoff picture, Week 17: Rams try to win West

With a win over the Baltimore Ravens and an Arizona Cardinals’ loss, the Los Angeles Rams would clinch the NFC West.

Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks entering Week 17 on the NFC side.

1. Green Bay Packers (12-3)
2. Dallas Cowboys (11-4)
3. Los Angeles Rams (11-4)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4)
5. Arizona Cardinals (10-5)
6. San Francisco 49ers (8-7)
7. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)

8. Minnesota Vikings (7-8)
9. Atlanta Falcons (7-8)
10. New Orleans Saints (7-8)

For the Rams, this week is about holding off a desperate foe. Los Angeles has to come across the country to take on the Baltimore Ravens, who began the season at 7-2 despite a bevy of injuries. However, Baltimore has crashed, losing five of its past six and could be without star quarterback Lamar Jackson tomorrow, who has missed the previous two games with an ankle injury.

If the Rams win, they can clinch the NFC West with help. That assistance would be coming from the Cowboys, who host the Cardinals in the late window on FOX. If Arizona wins and the Rams lose, the Cardinals jump back on top of the West via tiebreaker. If both have the same result, the division comes down to the final Sunday.

As for the Cowboys, it’s all about seeding. They’ve clinched the NFC East and can only move up if the Packers somehow lose to the Sean Mannion-led Vikings at Lambeau Field on Sunday night. Essentially, Dallas is trying to hold onto the second seed.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have the easy assignment of taking on the New York Jets. Even with the injury rash Tampa Bay is going through, getting the Jets this time of year is akin to a bye week. Take the win and move on.

Out west, San Francisco is welcoming in the Houston Texans, who appear an easy mark at 4-11 but are coming off a pasting of the Los Angeles Chargers, with quarterback Davis Mills leading a 41-point outburst. If the Niners win, they move one step closer to being a playoff team, although they would need help to clinch.

Finally, the Falcons and Saints are both trying to keep hope alive at 7-8, even if their prospects are dimming. Atlanta has the near-impossible task of going to Buffalo and beating the Bills, with the hosts trying to stay atop the AFC East. The chore is much easier for the Saints, who welcome in the staggering Carolina Panthers. After starting 3-0, the Panthers have dropped 10 of their past 12 games.

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