We are at the mid-point of the season and with that the playoff picture has started to sort itself out in the NFC. While there are only six playoff spots up for grabs, I will rank the top eight teams in the conference and how they match up with the Ram’s in a potential playoff matchup.
1) Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles come in at the top spot. Currently sitting at 7-1, the Eagles got stronger today with the addition of Jay Ajayi at the trade deadline. Carson Wentz is off to a strong sophomore season and the Eagles have weapons for days on offense. The Ram’s match up well with the Eagles, a show down in December will be a must watch and a possible NFC Championship Game preview.
2) Seattle Seahawks- The Seahawks, after starting slow, are starting to get hot. They are currently sitting at 5-2, tied with the Rams at the top of the NFC West standings. Russell Wilson and the offense are starting to find their rhythm and with the addition of Duane Brown from the Texans, Wilson might get that much better. The Rams always match up well with the Seahawks. The Rams must find ways to finish offensive drives if they want to beat the Seahawks in December and possibly again in the playoffs.
3) Los Angeles Rams- The Rams are off to their best start since 2003 with a 5-2 record and are currently tied with the Seahawks at the top of the NFC West. With a shutout win against the Arizona Cardinals in London the Rams come out of the bye week hot. The next four weeks bring three potential playoff teams to face the Rams and we will find out how good the Rams really are.
4) Dallas Cowboys- After a slow start to the season the Cowboys are getting hot. Currently sitting at 4-3, the Cowboys have work to do to make the playoffs. Legal battles with Ezekiel Elliot may hamper this teams running game, but only time will tell if the six-game suspension will be upheld. The Rams match up well against the Cowboys, having already beat them in Dallas. The key for the Rams to beat the Cowboys is to stop their running game and put the game on the shoulders of Dak Prescott.
5) Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings currently sit at 6-2 and the top of the NFC North. This team is all about defense. You simply cannot run the ball against this defense. While Case Keenum may be the backup quarterback, he is still putting up good numbers. The Rams should be able to stuff the run against the Vikings and put the game squarely on the shoulders of Keenum. If Goff and the offense protect the ball they should be able to beat the Vikings in a potential playoff match up.
6) New Orleans Saints- After starting the season 0-2, the Saints have reeled off five straight wins sitting at 5-2 and atop of the NFC South. The defense has been the key to the turn around. Alvin Kamara also adds a new element to the offense at running back. The Rams should be able to slow down the Saints. If Aaron Donald and company can make life miserable for Drew Brees, the Rams should be able to come up with turnovers and the offense should score enough to beat the Saints.
7) Carolina Panthers- Currently sitting at 5-3 the Panthers are a bit of a Jekyll-Hyde type of team. The team really relies on their defense to dominate games. Offensively the Panthers are hit and miss and with Kelvin Benjamin leaving to join the Buffalo Bills, the Panthers will really need to grind out wins relying on their ground game. The Rams should be able to hold their offense in check in a potential playoff matchup and score just enough to get by this formidable defense.
8) Atlanta Falcons- The defending NFC Champions are off to a slow start, yet sitting at 4-3 they are within striking distance and have an offense very capable of outscoring anyone on any given day. The Rams defense should be able to hold Matt Ryan and crew in check. The Falcons have a lot of work to do if they want to reach the playoffs.