The Rams (12-4) have made the NFC playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons under coach Sean McVay. But Los Angeles still has work to do in Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season to win its first NFC West title in three years.
Here’s where the Rams are at for Sunday’s home game against the 49ers and how high they can end up knowing their ranking scenarios:
WEEK 18 CHOICE: Against the spread | Directly
How can the Rams win NFC West?
The Rams, the NFC’s current No.2 seed between the stranded No.1 Packers and No.3 Buccaneers, can clinch the division crown in two ways.
1. Rams win or draw in week 18
The Rams have a full game lead over the Cardinals (11-5), who also nabbed an NFC playoff berth. A win or a tie maintains that lead by a full play or a half play. However, the Rams have lost five straight games to the 49ers, including 31-10 in San Francisco in Week 10. The 49ers (9-7) won’t make it easy on Sunday afternoon as they’re playing just to win a game. wild card behind the Rams and Cardinals.
2. Cardinals lose in week 18
If the Rams fall to the 49ers a second time around, they also need the Cardinals to lose their NFC West home game to the Seahawks. Arizona is a slightly bigger favorite in this game than Los Angeles vs. San Francisco.
How high can rams be seeded?
No. 1 belongs to the Packers. But with a win, the Rams would be stuck in second no matter what the Buccaneers (12-4) do against the Panthers. The Rams hold the head-to-head tiebreaker after beating the Buccaneers in Week 3.
But let’s say the Rams lose but still win the division because the Cardinals also lose. At 12-5, they would drop to No.3 if the Buccaneers won and No.4 if the Cowboys also beat the Eagles on Saturday. The Buccaneers will be a game against the Rams in this case. The Cowboys would improve to 12-5 to tie the Rams and hold a decisive advantage in the conference record with a 10-3 score in the NFC game.
If the Rams lose the division with a loss and victory for the Cardinals, they cannot finish lower than No.5 at 12-5, because the best the No.6 49ers or No.7 Eagles can finish is two games behind at 10- Sept.