The Los Angeles Rams lost a potential playoff preview on Sunday Night Football, losing an ugly 15-6 game to the Chicago Bears. It was a mix of strong defense and hideous offense, with Jared Goff and Mitchell Trubisky combining to complete 36 of 74 passes for 290 yards, one touchdown, and seven interceptions. It was not pretty.
The Rams drop to 11-2 on the season, and in turn drop behind the New Orleans Saints in the race for the best record in the NFC. The Saints beat the Rams earlier this year and hold the tiebreaker. Meanwhile, the Rams sit two games ahead of the Bears for the No. 2 seed and accompanying first round bye.
For the San Francisco 49ers, this makes Week 17 a little more interesting. The Rams could finish as high as the No. 1 seed and as low as the No. 4 seed. They are unlikely to lose all three remaining games, so realistically, they are looking at No. 1 to No. 3. Here are the remaining schedules for the Saints, Rams, and currently third-seeded Bears.
If the Saints and Rams have the same record when Week 17 arrives, New Orleans is currently scheduled to play at 10 a.m., while Los Angeles is scheduled to play at 1:25 p.m. If the Saints win their earlier game and secure home field, what do the Rams do?
Last year, they benched their starters in a game that meant nothing, but they also were playing the next week. If the Rams have secured a bye, resting starters would mean two weeks between games. If the Rams are locked into the two seed in Week 17, do we maybe see the starters get a half of action before resting? This is of note given the 49ers current position atop the draft order, where a single win the rest of the way could swing it.
How does Week 17 play out?