Los Angeles Rams: Playoff Chances by The Numbers

by Max Perez
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The Los Angeles Rams are forcing their name back into the 2019 playoff mix with dominant wins over the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. The Rams offense from 2018 that we had become accustomed to has returned for a short two-week burst and the Rams’ elite defensive ways have continued. They are playing at the top of their game, so what are their odds at the playoffs? 

The Rams’ win against the Seahawks boosted their playoff chances by five percent according to the New York Times’ interactive odds system, from 29 percent to 34 percent. Three weeks ago, that figure seemed like a longshot. The number gives some real-life perspective to LA’s mini-run that they seem to be in the midst of, they are literally changing their fate with every big play. 

Game-by-Game Odds

The Rams will be heading on the road to face the down-trending Dallas Cowboys, losers of three straight. Winning this game would propel the Rams to 52 percent odds that they will clinch an NFC Wildcard spot, but losing it will likely end their season. 

Losing the game will pin the Rams at a 14 percent chance to make the dance. With the team relying on the Minnesota Vikings to lose one of their remaining games, the Rams have to take care of their own. The Cowboys are up first, but what comes next would become the biggest game of the Rams’ season. 

The Rams at San Francisco 49ers game on Saturday Night Football will be the biggest test of the Rams’ improvement. If they win this game, paired with the game versus the Dallas Cowboys, they give themselves around an 82 percent chance to slide into the playoffs. If they lose against SF but win at Dallas, their odds drop to 35 percent, and their playoff hopes will likely be dead. The plan may be this simple: win out. 

So, over the next two weeks here are the scenarios.

Rams win at the Cowboys and win in San Francisco against the 49ers: Chance for playoffs- 84 percent.

If LA wins at Dallas but drop one against the 49ers: Chance for playoffs- 35 percent

Rams drop both games: Chance for playoffs- 3 percent

The last game of the year features a team the Rams recently throttled at their home turf: the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals should be a game in which the Rams can win, but the season’s outlook will be totally different three weeks from now. The Rams might be playing for their playoff lives, or their season will already be over. 

Win Out or You’re Out

If the Rams win out, including their matchup with the Cardinals, their odds to make the playoffs rise to 95 percent. Now, if they drop this game whilst winning the two games that came beforehand, their odds are 41 percent. If they drop the Cardinals game along with another game along the way, the season is basically over at 6 percent. You can guess that if the Rams lose all three their chances are as good as 0 percent to make it to the dance. 

As much as fans want their favorite team to win every game they play in, the Los Angeles Rams NEED to win out to get the best chance at a playoff spot. If the Rams lose one game of this three-game stretch that is ahead of them, they can still get in, but they will need some massive help from an NFC playoff contender for that outcome to hold true. 

All statistics and odds from The New York Times

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