The Los Angeles Rams (5-4) are long shots to win the NFC West division behind the San Francisco 49ers (8-1) and Seattle Seahawks (8-2). The Rams are in deep trouble, and currently on the playoff bubble. The defending NFC champions must figure out how to jump-start their offense, and find a way to get running back Todd Gurley more involved in the offense.
The Rams must run the table the rest of the season if they want a shot at a wild-card berth. If the season ended today, the LA Rams would find themselves bubbling the wild card behind the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings (7-3).
The NFC playoff race is heating up, with 10 teams fighting for four division titles, and two wild card spots.
2019 NFC West Super Bowl Odds
San Francisco 49ers 6/1
Seattle Seahawks 16/1
LA Rams 40/1
Arizona Cardinals 1000/1
*** Lines via William Hill
According to William Hill, the Niners are 1/3 odds to win the NFC West title. The Seahawks are 5/2 odds to come-from-behind, and edge out the Niners. The Rams are 12/1 odds to pull off a miraculous comeback, but they’re stuck on the playoff bubble. The Cardinals (3-6-1) aren’t even in the conversation at 500/1 odds to win the NFC West.
The Seahawks proved they’re better than the Niners as the NFC West race comes down to a two-horse race. The Niners face a much harder schedule with seven games to go, which means Russell Wilson and the Seahawks find themselves in an advantageous spot.
SF Tough 2nd Half
The Niners faced their first big test of the season against the Seahawks and faltered. The Niners dropped their first game of the season, but it was only a matter of time before it happened. They had too hard of a schedule to go 16-0. At this point, the Niners better be careful, or they could go 2-5 in the last seven games.
The softest spots on the Niners’ schedule include games against the three-win Cardinals and the even worse Atlanta Falcons (2-7). They must also face the Rams one last time, who will want revenge after a 20-7 whipping last month.
The Niners have a three-game stretch of insane matchups versus the Green Bay Packers (8-2), Baltimore Ravens (7-2), and New Orleans Saints (7-2). Then there’s the Week 17 rematch against the Seahawks in Seattle. At the end of December, it’s going to be rainy, grey, cold, and miserable in Seattle in a game that might decide the NFC West and, potentially, the overall top playoff seeding in the NFC Conference.
Seattle Road Warriors
With 23 touchdowns against just two interceptions, it’s time to let the Russell Wilson MVP discussion begin. His MVP campaign gained steam after throwing five touchdowns in Week 10, including the game-winner in overtime against the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Wilson led the Seahawks to a second OT win in two weeks when they picked off the undefeated Niners in San Francisco.
The Seahawks are 8-2 with six games remaining. They host the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, and SF Niners in the last game of the season.
It’s been a flipped script for the Seahawks this season. Typically, bettors faded them on the road, and backed them at home where they were impossible to beat due to the deafening crowd noise at Qwest Field.
Seattle is a perfect 5-0 on the road this season, and have three more away games. The Seahawks visit the Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) on Sunday Night Football in Week 11, and then hit the road to play the LA Rams down in LA before flying across country to the take on Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers (5-4).
The Seahawks face a couple of tough teams, but it’s nothing as crazy as the Niners second-half schedule.
Rams Need Gurley
The Rams are on the verge of saving a disappointing season, but they must start winning ball games. If they were in the NFC East, then they’d have a better shot at securing a playoff spot by winning the weakest division’s crown. As is, the Rams have two of the best teams in the NFL ahead of them in the NFC West standings. With an NFC West title a pipe dream, Sean McVay’s squad is focused on one week and one win at a time.
A playoff berth is possible, but it’s a long and arduous journey ahead for the Rams in the final seven weeks of the season. If they can patch up their offensive line and obtain more consistent play from QB Jared Goff, then the Rams could back-door a wild card spot.
“I think we’re still in a good place where we’re still good,” said Goff.
The Rams have been keeping Todd Gurley’s work to a minimum. Maybe its finally time to unleash Gurley and let him resume his old workload. If the Rams boost their running game, the remainder of the offense thrives. Gurley hasn’t been the same since he injured his knee last season, and was a non-factor in the playoffs.
The Rams host four more home games against the Chicago Bears (4-5), Ravens, Seahawks, and Cardinals. They hit the road to play at Arizona, at Dallas, and at San Francisco. The Rams must win two difficult road games against the Cowboys and Niners.
McVay and the Rams will also have to hold their own serve, and win all their home games. They face two tough matchups against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, and Wilson’s Seahawks. As is, the Rams are on the playoff bubble, and their destiny is in their own hands.