It's been a disastrous season for the Rams, but they finally had something to celebrate on Thursday night when Baker Mayfield helped lead them to an improbable comeback in a 17-16 win over the Raiders.
The only thing more improbable than their comeback would be if the Rams actually made the playoffs. If the Rams had lost on Thursday, they would have been eliminated from playoff contention, but by winning, their playoff hopes are still alive.
Cue Lloyd Christmas: SO YOU'RE TELLING ME THERE'S A CHANCE.
Although the Rams seem hopelessly out of the playoff race right now, I would like to report that there's still a path for them to make the postseason; all they need is for the impossible to happen and for Mayfield to keep making miracles happen.
Will the Rams make the playoffs? Almost definitely not, but we decided to map out their path to the postseason anyway.
Here's what has to happen for the 4-9 Rams to get to the playoffs. (We wanted to keep this simple, so we will not be including any scenario that involves potential ties. The Giants and Commanders already made things complicated enough with their tie in Week 13.)
- 1. Rams must win their four remaining games. The Rams close the season with games against the Packers, Broncos, Chargers and Seahawks. If they want to have any shot of the playoffs, they have to run the table.
- 2. Commanders OR Giants must lose out. These two teams play in Week 15, and the loser of the game must lose all of their remaining games. Since the Giants have the toughest remaining schedule, we'll make them the team that loses out. The Giants close the season with two games against the Eagles, plus one game each against the Commanders, Vikings and Colts. That Giants will likely only be favored to win the Colts game, so it's not inconceivable that they lose out.
- 3. Seahawks have to lose out. The only way the Rams can sneak in the playoffs is if the Seahawks lose their final five games, which will be played against the Panthers, 49ers, Chiefs, Jets and Rams. The Seahawks are only favored by 3.5 points over the Panthers, so an upset there isn't out of the question. If the Seahawks lose out and the Rams win out, we could get a situation where the Week 18 game between Seattle and L.A. turns into a "win and in" situation.
- 4. No other team can finish with more than seven wins. The Lions, Falcons and Packers all have five wins, so the Rams would need each of those teams to win two games or fewer down the stretch.
If all of this happens, here's what the final NFC playoff standings would be:
FIRST TWO OUT: Giants (7-9-1), Seahawks (7-10)
At 8-9, the Rams would get to the playoffs. And while I'm not saying they would be a dangerous team, they do have the king of dangerous now on their roster and we saw that he's capable of on Thursday night.
Of course, all of this playoff talk will go to waste if the Rams lose to the Raiders on Thursday night. With a loss in that game, the Rams will be officially eliminated and all of this playoff talk will have been for naught.