Rams can prove they are true Super Bowl contenders the next few weeks

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Whereas the AFC has fizzled in recent weeks, the NFC has multiple Super Bowl Contenders. In the coming weeks, the Rams can prove they belong in that class.

Wow, what a season it has been for the Los Angeles Rams. Before the season even began we predicted that the Rams would go 7-9 — which was actually pretty favorable. Los Angeles was only given a 5.5 game over/under for wins this season and have already achieved that with a 7-2 record going into week 11.

Los Angeles finds themselves in the hunt not only for the playoffs but in Super Bowl contention. The Rams lead the NFC West by one game over the Seattle Seahawks and are one of five 7-2 teams. Three of the five are NFC teams including the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles.

The Carolina Panthers (7-3), Seattle Seahawks (6-3) hold the current Wild Card spots. The Dallas Cowboys (5-4), Atlanta Falcons (5-4), Detroit Lions (5-4) and Green Bay Packers (5-4) are all on the doorsteps.

When it comes to the division leaders in the NFC, it is hard to expect what the ceilings really are. The Eagles have been the most dominant team in the league thus far but have only played one playoff contending team, the Carolina Panthers. That game was closely contested until Luke Kuechly got hurt and the Eagles won by just five.

The New Orleans Saints are in the same boat. New Orleans is enjoying a seven-game win streak after starting 0-2. However, since their 0-2 start, the Saints lost to two playoff teams: The New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. Although they have wins over the Lions and an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, their only true playoff win is against the Panthers.

The Minnesota Vikings may be the only team that is for real and even their case is cloudy. Even with Case Keenum at quarterback and Dalvin Cook out for the season the Vikings have a 7-2 record. However, their only win over a playoff contending team is against the Saints, thus, they may have the edge.

The Los Angeles Rams may have a better case on paper, but not really. Los Angeles has defeated the Jaguars and Cowboys, two teams in the playoff hunt. However, the Cowboys are not the same Cowboys of last season and the Jaguars are benefitting off of the second easiest schedule in the league.

Much like the rest of the NFC supremacy, the Rams have benefitted from an easy schedule. However, the next four weeks will open the floodgates entirely and will pull the contenders from the pretenders.

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Most of the NFC’s elite matchup with each other over the coming weeks. Los Angeles faces the Vikings this week, the Saints the following week and the Eagles in week 14. Then, Los Angeles must face the Seahawks in week 15 in what could be for NFC West Supremacy.

The Saints play the Rams, Panthers and Falcons twice to finish the season. Minnesota has the Rams, Panthers and Falcons. However, the Eagles arguably have it the toughest. Philadelphia still must face the Cowboys twice, the Rams once, the Seahawks in Seattle and a sneaky Raiders team. Worst case scenario these 8-1 Eagles could be 10-6.

Thus, the coming weeks are critical for the Rams. If Los Angeles can defeat the Vikings, Saints and Eagles in that order they will undoubtedly be the Super Bowl favorites, in both conferences. If they can pull away with wins over the Vikings and Saints with a closely contested game against the Eagles, the Rams would be right up there with Philadelphia.

Regardless, the next few weeks are pivotal for the Rams. Los Angeles easily could take a loss in all four games against playoff foes, making it extremely hard to make a Wild Card at 10-6. Or, the Rams could beat them all, win out and finish with an NFL-best 14-2.

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A good goal for the Rams is to go 3-1 against these four teams. Wins over the Saints, Vikings and Seahawks are definitely doable. This would likely lead to a 13-3 record for LA. However, realistically, a 12-4 finish may be in the cards for Los Angeles.