The Los Angeles Rams were one of the surprise teams in the NFL this season as even they themselves were open about this being a rebuilding year going back to the offseason.
The Rams hit on their draft class though as well as some of the other veterans that they brought in. Combine that with Sean McVay’s brilliant coaching, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp returning to form, and the Rams were able to clinch an NFC playoff berth with a week to go in the 2023 regular season.
After the Rams beat the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17, L.A. officially clinched its ticket to the postseason after missing it a year ago in the Super Bowl defense.
With that being the case, McVay opted to rest a lot of key players in the regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, who had already locked up the No. 1 seed and rested starters as well.
Regardless, the Rams were on the road and beat their rivals in a comeback 21-20 victory led by Carson Wentz and Tutu Atwell.
With the way the games went in Week 18, the Rams have clinched the No. 6 seed in the NFC, which sets up a first-round playoff matchup with the Detroit Lions.
This is an intriguing matchup for a number of reasons, but none bigger than the quarterbacks due to the blockbuster trade that took place a few years ago. The Rams famously traded Jared Goff and two first-round picks to Detroit for Stafford.
That trade already paid off for the Rams, who won the Super Bowl in Stafford’s first season with the team. Detroit has started seeing the benefits of the trade in recent years as well as they had one of their best regular seasons in franchise history with Goff playing at an extremely high level.
The Lions will now be hosting a playoff game for the first time since 1994, although they can’t be happy seeing Stafford and the Rams coming to town considering how well they have been playing in the second half of the season.
Rams’ NFC playoff bracket
The NFL is surely happy about this though as it gives them another high-profile game in the first round. The full Wild Card Weekend schedule will come out after all the games are played, but the NFC half of the bracket is set and goes as follows…
(1) San Francisco 49ers: Bye(7) Green Bay Packers at (2) Dallas Cowboys(6) Los Angeles Rams at (3) Detroit Lions(5) Philadelphia Eagles at (4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers