Los Angeles Rams: Looking at the NFC Playoff Picture Before Week 10

by Alex Perl
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We’re now into Week 10 of the NFL season, and it is becoming much more clear which teams are likely to be vying for a playoff spot in the loaded NFC. The Los Angeles Rams hit a stumbling block with a recent loss to the Tennessee Titans, however, most of the top teams in the NFC lost this past week, meaning the Rams are still entrenched in the same spot they were from a week prior. Every week here at Downtown Rams, we’ll be keeping an eye on the playoff picture and the top games to keep an eye on.

NFC Playoff Picture

1. Arizona Cardinals: 8-1

2. Green Bay Packers: 7-2

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-2

4. Dallas Cowboys: 6-2

5. Los Angeles Rams: 7-2

6. New Orleans Saints: 5-3

7. Atlanta Falcons: 4-4

Current Matchup: Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys

As things currently stand, the Los Angeles Rams would travel to play the NFC East leaders in the Dallas Cowboys. Despite the Rams having one more win than their NFC counterparts, the Rams are still on the outside looking in as the top wildcard team in the division. The Rams hold the advantage over the Cowboys with Los Angeles winning three of the last four matchups against Dallas dating back to 2017.

Week 10 Matchup: Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

The Los Angeles Rams will be traveling to face heated divisional rival the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. The 49ers (3-5) are at the bottom of the NFC West standings — nevertheless, this should be taken with a grain of salt, as the Rams have not beat the 49ers since 2018. Despite the 49ers losing four out of their past five games, they seem to always somehow pull things together against Los Angeles. It will be a tall task for the Rams to overcome in San Francisco, but with the expected debut of recently acquired linebacker Von Miller, the Rams should get a jolt of confidence in this tough divisional matchup.

Top Week 10 Games to Watch

Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys

The Atlanta Falcons are an NFC team to keep an eye on, they have won three out of their last four matchups. Sitting at seventh in the NFC, they are hoping to continue their rise as they face one of the top teams in the NFC in the Cowboys, who are coming off a surprise loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 9. For the Cowboys, they have the fortunate luck of being in one of the weaker divisions in the NFC, and will look to continue their stronghold on the NFC East with a win at home on Sunday.

New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans

The Saints are in prime position here, even after coming off a Week 9 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. At 5-3, the Saints are only one game back of the divisional leaders in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With a Buccaneers loss on Sunday and a Saints win, the Saints can move into first in the NFC South division. The Saints would hold the tie breaker with their division rivals as they defeated Tampa Bay in Week 8. Tennessee is a team on the rise however, after a huge win over the Rams in Week 9, they are a team to watch in the AFC as they currently sit atop the AFC South with a 7-2 record. The Titans are still a tough team to overcome, even with All-Pro running back Derrick Henry out due to injury.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins

Of course in a contest where Tom Brady and his Buccaneers are coming off a week of rest, the expectation is certainly that they will run over a team that so far only managed two wins. But after the zany week that was Week 9, we were taught you can never count any team out (looking at you Buffalo Bills), but unlike the upsets that occurred in Week 9, this one admittedly will be very difficult for the Washington Football Team to overcome. Washington has the second worst record in the NFC, and although an upset will be hard to come by, they do have home field advantage. The Buccaneers can continue their division lead with a win, and their hope is they can rise to the top of the division as they are only a game back of the #1 seed.

Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers

This matchup is an interesting one to view. Although you always want a division foe to lose, the Rams would benefit more with a Seattle Seahawks win in this contest. The Seahawks only have three wins to their name in a season they are trying to navigate with a new quarterback under center in Geno Smith. The injury to incumbent Russell Wilson has the Seahawks in unfamiliar territory, they are under center with a different quarterback for the first time since 2011.

Smith has been a mixed bag of results thus far, and the Seahawks are in a battle to escape last place in the division with the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers are the complete opposite, as they are running away with the NFC North division. A recent loss in Week 9 has not changed this, but there is a slight chance the Packers could be without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a second week in a row as he battles to overcome his recent positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Keep an eye out on this development as the week progresses.

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals

Not saying you should be rocking Carolina blue for this contest, but I am also not telling you not to. The Arizona Cardinals have the best record in not just the NFC, but in all of football. And this surely does not fare well for the Los Angeles Rams as they are chasing their division rivals.

One of the Rams only losses this season was a battering at the hands of the NFC West leaders, so even with a Rams win and Cardinals loss, the Cardinals would still be atop the division. However, this would close the gap in a division the team has not let up on. The game has big playoff implications for the Panthers too, as a win over one of the top teams in the conference would be huge for them.

With starting quarterback Sam Darnold now out for the Panthers due to injury, Carolina resigned free agent Cam Newton, who is a Carolina legend. It is truly hard at this point to even call who will be under center on Sunday. Backup P.J. Walker may have the inside job on starting, but Newton could figure into the equation. Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray missed Week 9 due to injury, and is likely to play, but is banged up coming into the game. The hope for Los Angeles is that the Panthers can pull off the upset in this one.

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