Los Angeles Rams: Wild Card Weekend Picks and Cheering Guide

by Blaine Grisak
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Playoff football is finally upon us and the NFL’s wild card weekend is finally underway. There will be six games total this weekend beginning on Saturday and wrapping up on Monday Night Football with the Los Angeles Rams.

Given that the Rams are game six out of six, fans are going to be looking for teams to be cheering for in these matchups. I’ll also do my best with game picks. Let’s take a look!

Las Vegas Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals – Saturday @ 4:30ET

A lot of these games this weekend are rematches from previous games this season. The Bengals haven’t won a postseason game in 31 years while it’s been 19 years for the Raiders. One team will be looking to end their playoff drought. This game was 13-6 heading into the fourth quarter in November before the Bengals exploded to win 32-13.

For Los Angeles Rams fans, the Bengals are the obvious rooting choice. Zac Taylor was the former Rams offensive coordinator. This offense is also just a lot of fun to watch with stars like Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins.

Pick: Bengals -5.5, Over 48.5

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills – Saturday @ 8:15ET

This will be the third time these two teams have played this season. The Patriots won the slugfest in the wind in Buffalo in the first matchup. In the second matchup, Josh Allen took over to lead the Bills to a 33-21 victory. At one point, the Patriots looked like the best team in the AFC. As it stands, the Bills look to be rising at the right time.

The Bills haven’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1993 season while the Patriots are starting to find their way post-Tom Brady. Given that New England has beaten the Los Angeles Rams twice in the Super Bowl, the Bills are the clear rooting choice. With five degree temperatures in New York, this should be a close game.

Pick: Patriots +4.5, Under 43.5

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday @ 1ET

These two teams faced earlier in the season with the Buccaneers coming out ahead 28-22. In that game, however, Miles Sanders only had nine carries. The Eagles have found their footing running the football and are one of the best teams at it. Meanwhile the Buccaneers are still one of the best teams at stopping the run.

The Buccaneers are shorthanded in the passing game, but the Eagles are 0-6 against teams with a winning record. The Eagles beat up on quarterbacks like Garrett Gilbert, Jake Fromm, and Zach Wilson down the stretch. Even without Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, Brady is much better.

From a Los Angeles Rams perspective, you can look at this in a couple of ways. If the Eagles come out with the upset, that makes the Rams the third-highest seed and they avoid a trip to Green Bay next week. If the Buccaneers win, the Rams will need a 49ers win to avoid that trip to Lambeau. However, the Rams are 2-0 against the Buccaneers over the last two seasons. Being the four seed, it makes the most sense for Rams fans to cheer for the lower seed.

Pick: Buccaneers +8

San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys – Sunday @ 4:30ET

This might be the game of the week and be the game everyone is waiting for during wild card weekend. The 49ers sharpied their spot in the postseason with a come from behind win over the Rams last week that bears no repeating. The Cowboys have been up and down. Their defense looks good, but the offense has been very inconsistent.

The 49ers are a team that nobody wants to face in the postseason because of their playoff groomed quarterback and defense that has the ability to take over a game. The 49ers are 6-2 in their last eight games and the Cowboys don’t really have a significant win on their schedule.

A great scenario for the Los Angeles Rams is that the 49ers and Eagles win, making the Rams the second-highest seed remaining in the postseason. This would allow the Rams a second home game next week that will be shorter given that they play on Monday Night.

The best case scenario for the Rams is that the Buccaneers and 49ers win. The Rams would be on the road next week, but it would be against a Buccaneers team that they are 2-0 against and are weaker at wide receiver without Godwin and Brown.

Pick: 49ers +3, Under 50.5

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday @ 8:15ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs wrap things up on Sunday Night Football. Ben Roethlisberger put it best this week when he said that the Steelers don’t really stand a chance. His hope is that the Steelers rise to the occasion. However, the Chiefs led 23-0 at halftime in the first game.

There isn’t much to root for here for the Los Angeles Rams. If there is one thing to cheer for it’s that TJ Watt doesn’t have a big enough game that makes this close or leads to a Steelers win. A mediocre game from Watt and Chiefs win will avoid any recency bias for voters when they vote for Defensive Player of the Year.

 

 

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