It wasn't pretty by any means, but the Los Angeles Rams snapped a three-game losing streak with a 17-16 home victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Now sitting at 4-6 on the season, the Rams are still outside the playoff picture and two games behind the Seahawks, who currently hold the final wild card spot. Projections also don't have much faith in them to get there, as ESPN's FPI gives them just a 14 percent chance to make the playoffs. Looking closer, though, a late-season playoff push doesn't seem too farfetched.
First, it's important to scout the playoff picture as it stands right now. The Rams are one of four NFC teams at 4-6 alongside the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The official standings put the Rams behind the Packers due to conference win percentage, but ahead of the Falcons based on strength of victory (Atlanta is ahead of Tampa Bay thanks to a head-to-head victory).
Next, the rest of the Rams' schedule seems relatively manageable. According to Tankathon, L.A. ranks 20th in remaining strength of schedule with an opponent win percentage of .486. While that is statistically harder than the Packers (.451), Buccaneers (.386) and Falcons (.380), in context, it becomes more favorable for the Rams.
L.A.'s next game is a road matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, whom have the second-worst record in the league at 2-9 and already lost to the Rams back in Week 6. After that is a home game against the Cleveland Browns, who have a strong record at 7-3 but are currently starting a fifth-round rookie at quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Yes, the Browns' top-ranked defense will be a very tough challenge, but if the Rams can overcome it, there's a feasible path back to .500 in two weeks.
The Rams then face the Baltimore Ravens in a tough road game, but their three games after that are very winnable. That stretch includes home games against the Washington Commanders and New Orleans Saints before a road matchup against the New York Giants, three teams at or below .500.
Even a road game against the San Francisco 49ers may not be as bad as it looks. If the 49ers are already locked into their playoff spot, they could opt to rest their starters, which would make the game much easier for the Rams.