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Who Will the Rams Play on Wild Card Weekend?

Posted Dec 27, 2017

The Rams will take on one of four opponents in the first round of the playoffs: Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, or Seattle. There are 24 possible outcomes for seeding based on the Week 17 matchups.

We know the Rams have locked up the NFC West title. We know that Los Angeles will host a playoff game on Jan. 6 or Jan. 7 for Wild Card weekend.

But we don’t know who the Rams will be playing in that contest — though the field is down to four.

Los Angeles will take on either Atlanta, Carolina, Seattle or New Orleans in the Wild Card round, all depending on how five games finish this weekend.

The Eagles have already secured the NFC’s No. 1 seed, ensuring they’ll have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. While they’ll face the Cowboys on Sunday, that NFC matchup won’t affect the rest of the playoff picture.

There are, however, five key matchups that will determine the rest of the NFC’s playoff seeding. No. 2 Minnesota takes on Chicago at 10 a.m. PT. Then No. 3 L.A. faces San Francisco, No. 4 New Orleans takes on Tampa Bay, No. 5 Carolina faces No. 6 Atlanta, and No. 7 Seattle plays Arizona — all at 1:25 p.m. PT.

With that, there are 24 total ways for all five games to finish. Which means there are 24 scenarios for the NFC.

As of now, the Rams’ most likely opponent is the Falcons, as 42 percent (10 of 24) of the scenarios end up with L.A. as the No. 3 seed taking on No. 6 Atlanta.

The second most likely scenario (25 percent) has the Rams taking on the Panthers. That would mean the Rams are the No. 4 seed and the Panthers are No. 5.

In four scenarios (17 percent) the Rams at No. 4 take on the No. 5 Saints. And in another four No. 3 L.A. faces No. 6 Seattle.

Got all that?

If the Rams beat the 49ers, they’re locked in at No. 3. If the Falcons win or the Seahawks lose on Sunday, they’re the No. 6 seed. That’s why it’s the most likely.

If the Saints win on Sunday, they’re the division champions and will be either No. 3 or No. 4. That’s why it’s more likely the Rams will face the Panthers.

If Los Angeles loses on Sunday, it’s more likely that the Rams will be the No. 4 seed. But L.A. could still end up as the No. 3 seed if New Orleans and Carolina both lose.

In other words, it’s complicated. But no matter what happens, Los Angeles will have a quality opponent to prepare for next week.