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Rams Stuck in Cluttered NFC Playoff Race

by Jeremy Karp

(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

In the past two weeks, the St. Louis Rams have lost to the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, dropping their record to 4-5. They’ve also lost to the NFC’s Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers. The only three NFC teams they have beaten this season are their three division rivals: the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers.

While there are still seven games left to play, the Rams have found themselves already stuck in a cluttered NFC playoff race.

Currently if the season ended today the Rams would be the ninth seed in the NFC (the top six seeds make the playoffs: the four division winners, and two wild card teams). As of now, including the Rams there are six NFC teams with a 4-5 record.

This is how the standings sit as of now from 7-12: the Redskins, Buccaneers, Rams, Seahawks, Eagles, and Bears.

The two wild card teams (as of week 11) are the Packers (who have lost three straight) and the Falcons, who have dropped down from their hot start at the beginning of the season. For the Rams, their next two games are both against AFC North opponents: the last-place Baltimore Ravens and the first-place Cincinnati Bengals.

Out of the five teams stated earlier that have a 4-5 record, the Buccaneers are the only team left that will face the Rams this season. Some might consider that there is a better shot for St. Louis to win the NFC West than to win a wild card spot, but with Arizona gaining a three-game lead with Sunday night’s 39-32 victory over the Seahawks it remains to be seen which path is easier.

The highest seed the Rams have been this season is seventh.

With the team sputtering on both sides of the ball, the time is now to get things back on track and perform at the same level they do when facing their division rivals (which are arguably the best performances of the season).

Otherwise the playoff drought that’s been a staple of football in the Gateway City will extend another year.

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