With a Week 11 bye, the Los Angeles Rams will be returning to action this Sunday hoping to finally gain some ground in the NFC playoff standings. There were a number of changes from the previous week as the standings continue to be a revolving door, with the Rams stuck in the same position for what has seemed like an eternity.
Losses via the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys shook up the top of the NFC standings, and a new team has now found itself in the thick of things in the playoff race. As things currently stand, the Rams would be traveling to face off against the Dallas Cowboys.
The top team in the NFC in the Arizona Cardinals will keep their top spot either way this week, as they are on bye. Take a look below to see how the playoff race in the NFC has unfolded so far through 11 weeks.
NFC Playoff Picture
1. Arizona Cardinas: 9-2
2. Green Bay Packers: 8-3
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7-3
4. Dallas Cowboys: 7-3
5. Los Angeles Rams: 7-3
6. Minnesota Vikings: 5-5
7. New Orleans Saints: 5-5
Current Matchup: Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys
With the Dallas Cowboys losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Rams would now head to Dallas to play the Cowboys in the first round. As these currently stand, it seems most likely that the Rams will either head to Dallas or Tampa Bay of they can’t win the NFC West.
The last time the Rams played the Cowboys in the playoffs, the Rams ended up going to the Super Bowl. The Cowboys are a good team in a little bit of a rut since Dak Prescott returned from injury. However, as they get healthier, they’ll be a tough team to play in December.
Week 12 Games to Watch
Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers
The last time the Los Angeles Rams traveled to Lambeau Field, they were bounced from the playoffs. Looking to exact some much needed revenge in this clash, the Rams are also hoping to end a two-game skid to boot. The odds in this one are fairly even for both teams. The Packers and Rams are both dealing with a slew of injuries to key players. Both teams are also coming off recent defeats to conference rivals.
The Packers lost a closely contested matchup to the Minnesota Vikings last week. With a now banged up Aaron Rodgers and a depleted offensive line, it would appear that Green Bay possibly may be trending down. However, Matt LaFleur has never lost back-to-back games as a head coach.
You can never count out an Aaron Rodgers led Packers team. However, the Rams will be hungry to overturn their recent misfortunes. With such a potent pass-rush led by Aaron Donald, the Los Angeles Rams should be favored in this tussle of likely playoff bound opponents.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys faltered in their first of back-to-back games against the AFC West. They lost 19-9 in a very poor display against the surging Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday. However, the Raiders are far from the opponent the Chiefs are. In fact, the Raiders lost only a week prior to the Chiefs by an embarrassing score of 41-14.
You never want to make excuses for any team. However, Dallas was without many key players and had a steep hill to climb this past Sunday. They should be at nearly full strength in this matchup against a Raiders team that has lost three straight. The Raiders tailspin goes beyond football, and it would seem likely it should continue in this highlighted Turkey Day clash.
Buffalo Bills @ New Orleans Saints
We will call this clash, ‘The Battle of the Unknowns.’ These are two teams that were so vaunted at one point, but have truly fallen well below expectations. Both sit at the bottom of the Wild Card race in their respected conferences, and both are having a difficult time keeping their head above water.
The Saints have lost three straight as they continue to fall in the playoff pecking order in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Bills have lost two of their last three and are coming off a blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams need a victory here to stay alive in playoff contention.
For Los Angeles Rams fans purposes, the New Orleans should be one to watch. It is truly hard to call a winner in a game featuring two teams hell bent on changing the fortunes of their disappointing seasons in another Turkey Day collision.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts
One of the NFC’s best teams in the Buccaneers travels to face a surging team in the Colts. In the midst of three game winning streak, the Colts are looking to continue their form against the Buccaneers team. Tampa Bay is coming off an impressive Monday night victory against the Giants.
This game has huge playoff implications for both teams. The Colts are on the bubble in the AFC, and are looking to continue their rise in the standings. The Buccaneers are one of the top teams in the NFC, and are looking to gain more ground, as they sit only one game back of the top team in the conference in the Arizona Cardinals.
Keep an eye on this matchup as it should be a good one.
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers
In regard to the Los Angeles Rams here, the hope should be that the 49ers lose this contest. The 49ers are creeping up the NFC standings. For a division foe that now holds the tie breaker currently over the Rams, a loss would help out immensely here.
The Minnesota Vikings have been very up and down this season. They came a field goal away from beating the Cardinals, but then have losses to the Browns and Bengals. They were up big on the Ravens before losing 34-31 in overtime.
However, they just got a big win against the Packers and look like a team to be reckoned with. With a win in San Francisco, not only will the Vikings continue their meteoric rise, but it will keep them above a 49ers team with the same exact record at 5-5.
The Los Angeles Rams faithful should keep a watchful eye on this matchup as it could have heavy playoff implications.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia Eagles are sneaking their way into the playoff picture. They’ve won three of their last four and have the Giants, Jets, and Washington Football Team on deck. This is a team that could get hot and go on a run as we get into December.
If the Saints lose to the Bills on Sunday and the Eagles win a divisional game on the road – watch out. The Eagles would also need a Vikings win over the 49ers, but if that happens, Philadelphia will hold the seventh seed after Week 12.