Week 18 scenarios for Rams to finish anywhere from 2nd to 5th in NFC

·3 min read

There’s a lot on the line for the Rams in Week 18. They have a chance to win the NFC West and clinch the No. 2 seed by beating the 49ers on Sunday afternoon at home. They could also slip all the way to the fifth seed if they lose and the Cardinals win.

In-between, there are scenarios for the Rams to also finish third or fourth in the conference.

All of this is dependent on what the Cardinals, Cowboys and Buccaneers do, in addition to the result of Rams-49ers. We’ve laid out all of the scenarios for the Rams to finish second, third, fourth or fifth in the NFC – with help from this very useful chart.

No. 2 seed

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  1. Rams win

  2. Rams loss + ARI loss + TB loss + DAL loss

There are two scenarios for the Rams to clinch the No. 2 seed, but one is obviously much more likely than the other. All they have to do is beat the 49ers on Sunday and they’ll clinch not only the division, but the second seed in the NFC.

There’s also a scenario where the Rams, Cardinals, Buccaneers and Cowboys all lose, thus keeping them in their current spots. That’s highly unlikely considering the Buccaneers are playing the Panthers and the Cardinals are facing the Seahawks, but stranger things have happened.

No. 3 seed

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis )

  1. Rams loss + ARI loss + TB win + DAL loss

  2. Rams loss + ARI loss + TB loss + DAL win

In order for the Rams to secure the No. 3 seed, they would have to lose to the 49ers and the Seahawks would have to beat the Cardinals. From there, there are two possible outcomes.

The Rams would need to have either the Cowboys or Buccaneers lose their Week 18 game, but not both. If the Cowboys win and the Bucs lose in this scenario, Dallas would be the No. 2 seed, with the Rams third and the Bucs fourth.

If the Bucs win and the Cowboys lose, Tampa Bay would be No. 2, the Rams would be third and the Cowboys fourth.

No. 4 seed

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  1. Rams loss + ARI loss + TB win + DAL win

There’s only one possible Week 18 outcome that results in the Rams being the fourth seed. The Rams and Cardinals would both have to lose, and the Cowboys and Bucs would both have to win.

That would vault Tampa and Dallas ahead of the Rams, but keep Los Angeles ahead of the Cardinals as NFC West champions. This would also set up a wild-card matchup between the Rams and Cardinals, which wouldn’t be ideal for Los Angeles.

No. 5 seed

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  1. Rams loss + ARI win

If the Rams lose and the Cardinals win, no other games in Week 18 matter for Los Angeles. The Rams would be guaranteed the No. 5 seed regardless of what the Buccaneers or Cowboys do in the season finale.

If the Rams finish fifth, the only team they can face in the first round of the playoffs is Dallas. Even if the Cowboys win, they’ll be locked into the No. 4 seed because both Tampa Bay and Arizona will finish ahead of them in the NFC.

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