Before plunging to No. 4, Rams should remember 2006 playoffs

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As noted on Friday, it’s believed that the Rams are choosing to rest starters because they prefer to land as the No. 4 seed, not the No. 3 seed, on the NFC playoff tree. While it may be too late to un-implement their plan, there’s still a very good reason to try to beat the 49ers on Sunday.

By losing, the Rams could be blowing a chance to host the NFC title game.

That possibility was mentioned in Friday’s story on the topic, but Friday’s story failed to mention one key factor: A similar scenario played out in 2006.

The Colts were the No. 3 seed, and the Patriots were the No. 4 seed. The Colts, who had clinched the division, needed to win in Week 17 in order to avoid sliding to No. 4. But the Colts saw what was looming: A win in the wild-card round at home, a road win in the divisional round, and a possible matchup in the AFC title game with a Patriots team that was good enough to do the same thing.

By staying at No. 3 with a Week 17 win over the Dolphins, the Colts ensured that the showdown with the Patriots would happen in Indianapolis, where it would be much easier to win in late January than in New England.

And that’s exactly what happened: The Colts beat the Chiefs then the Ravens, and the Patriots beat the Jets then the Chargers. The Colts then beat the Patriots to get to the Super Bowl.

While the Rams aren’t faced with playing the NFC title game in the elements, their apparent preference for a matchup with the Panthers over the Falcons/Seahawks and a then road trip to Philly instead of Minnesota opens the door for the possibility of having to play the Saints in their own building for a berth in Super Bowl 52, if the Saints win at home next weekend and then at Minnesota. Which will make it harder for the Rams to eventually get to Minnesota for the last game of the year than if they don’t host the NFC Championship.

18 responses to “Before plunging to No. 4, Rams should remember 2006 playoffs

  1. I think the notion the Rams are losing purposely for the 4 seed is being exaggerated. Sure, as a Rams fan I would rather avoid Minny but if the Rams make their way through the playoffs chances are they’re going to have to face the Vikings eventually. The difference between the 3 or 4 seed, with at least one home playoff game, is not worth risking a Todd Gurley or Jared Goff injury. That’s it

  2. Not to mention that this would be great bulletin board material for the eagles . Wentz is not walking through the door and foles is definitely the weakest playoff qb , but are the Vikings all of the sudden the 85 bears ?

  3. As a Panthers fan I am hoping they are wanting to play he Panthers, because frankly, I would rather play them than the Saints. Give me a 2nd year QB (Goff) and Gurley (even though he may be the MVP in the Coliseum over Brees and the Ingram/kamara monster in the Super Dome.

    I feel sure the Saints would be favored by more than the Rams over the Panthers…

  4. Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t complaining about the Rams playing the 49ers weak today. It will make his (potential) 5-0 streak with the team look even more impressive. And therefore make him more money.

    But is it really worse to play the Saints in the dome than in LA? This isn’t a few years ago when that Saints team couldn’t travel.

  5. yg20910 says:
    December 31, 2017 at 11:01 am
    Not to mention that this would be great bulletin board material for the eagles . Wentz is not walking through the door and foles is definitely the weakest playoff qb , but are the Vikings all of the sudden the 85 bears ?

    Better than. The defense is dominant and unlike the ’85 Bears, they have an offense. Besides, when did the ’85 Bears become the standard by which all SB teams are judged? They won in an era when the AFC was terrible, against a terrible Patriots team. Other teams (think 49ers) has even better margins of victory during that woeful era.

  6. Rams aren’t trying to lose, they are valuing rest/recovery over playoff seeding. Also, comparing the ’06 Colts (a dome team) who made it a priority to not have to play the AFCCG in Foxboro to this year’s Rams is a major stretch.

  7. I’m an Eagles fan and the Saints are the last team I want to play in the NFC playoffs. They’re as balanced as it gets and that’s incredibly important in playoff football.

    The Vikings are solid, but lets see them win ‘A’ playoff game before assuming they’ll be in the conference championship.

  8. Here is what the Panthers need to get the number 2 seed:

    Rams loss
    Saints loss and
    Vikings loss

    This helps. Go Niners, Bucanners, and Bears! You never know……

  9. This whole strategy is a figment of Florio’s imagination. NFL coaches don’t think 3 games ahead. And any head coach worth his salt wouldn’t duck a match against any team. Fan’s think like that. Not coaches.

  10. The rams an there fans can claim theres nothing to them sitting players trying to avoid the 3 seed, the real reason is clear to anyone else an that is because they 100% do not want to go to minnesota an play the vikes again…no the vikes are not the 85 bears, but when your rated 1 in total defense, 2nd against the run an 1st in pass defense, they can stop the rams cold an they know this

  11. They would play wildcard weekend regardless at home and then that rams defense would devour a foles run offense next round. And however way the rest of the games go, they would either be playing in a dome or at home, in sunny LA. Why would they risk injury, when they play in a more meaningful game next week?

  12. The starters will look sluggish in the playoffs after a week’s rest and go one and done. This is not an experienced team in the playoffs.

  13. Of course the 06 Pats could have easily lost vs the 06 Ravens and the 06 Colts probably lose to the 06 Chargers.

    There have only been two cases in the 6 team playoff format where both bye teams lost in a conference, 06 and 08.

  14. Rams are going to lose even if they start their starters. May as well keep them rested and let them heal. the Niners will not let down even if the Rams are starting their bench players. The Niners are red hot, and their winning streak will continue.

  15. Remember though they saw Carson Wentz get injured against them. Most likely they don’t want to see that happen to them in a basically meaningless game. Also with how the Eagles have played the past few weeks I would rather face them to. Not a knock but Minnesota’s defense is the real deal and their loud stadium will be an issue for everyone.

  16. This is no more than a bye week for the Rams starters. The Rams came out of their last bye and hung 51 on Giants at MetLife. Not worried about them being sluggish.

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