The NFC West Is Far From Settled This Season

December 20, 2020

Heading into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, it looked like the Los Angeles Rams were a lock to win their third division title in four years. But then the Rams had to do the unthinkable.

They lost to the woeful Jets, dropping their record to 9-5 on the season.

Since the Seattle Seahawks pulled out a win against the Washington Football Team Sunday, they moved into first in the division.

According to the oddsmakers at PointsBet Sportsbook, Seattle is favored to win the division. Their odds are now -218, while the odds for the Rams are +170. Those odds translate into a 68.55 percent chance Seattle wins and a 37.04 percent chance Los Angeles wins.

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Scenarios exist where either team could come out on top. But with how both have been playing, it is not easy to say one team is better than the other.

Yes, the Rams have a stifling defense, but they also have an inconsistent offense. In their last six games, Jared Goff has thrown for 300+ yards in three and less than 200 twice. Against the Jets, he only managed 209 yards.

It is not like they can count on the run game to bail them out, either. In those six games, they may have rushed for 100+ yards as a team in five, but they had only one 100+ yard rusher.

As for Seattle, Russell Wilson has cooled down significantly after getting off to a red-hot start early in the season. After throwing 26 touchdowns in his first seven games, he has only had 11 in the last seven.

While the team has averaged over 100 yards a game on the ground this season, they have yet to have a rusher gain 100+ yards in a game.

The run game is not coming to the rescue for them, either.

So, the only thing we know about the NFC West is that the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers will not win it.

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Who is Going to Win the NFC West?

The easiest route belongs to the Seattle Seahawks. All they have to do to win the division is beat the Rams this week (Seattle is favored by two; odds via DraftKings). With the win, their record will improve to 11-4 while the Rams record will drop to 9-6.

Since there will only be one game remaining, Seattle wins the NFC West. But if the Week Ten game between them is any indication, the Seahawks are going to have a hard time pulling out the win.

In that game, Wilson struggled to get the passing game on track. The Rams pass rush made it hard with six sacks on the day. The defense also recorded two interceptions on the day while holding Wilson to just 248 yards.

Seattle ran for 113 yards on the day, but 60 yards of that total came from Wilson.

To be fair, the Rams offense was not much better. They only ran for 106 yards on the day and did not have anyone rusher gain more than 38 yards. While Jared Goff did throw for 302 yards, the Seahawks defense kept him out of the end zone.

Should Seattle lose, the division is not lost. They will just have to beat the 49ers the following week while hoping the Rams fall to the Cardinals.

As for the Rams, they do have to win this week. But if they lose to the Cardinals in Week 17 and the Seahawks also lose to the 49ers, the Rams will still get in (conference record tiebreaker).

So – How Should You Bet?

Betting Play: Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West.

Neither offense has been too impressive of late, but the Rams defense has been. They will likely look to harass Russell Wilson and force him to throw before he wants to like Washington did. While the Seattle defense has been better lately, the Rams offense should play well enough to get Los Angeles the win.

So, then it will all come down to Week 17.

Seattle has the easier game between the two as they visit the San Francisco 49ers. But the Rams could be facing a Cardinals team that is still fighting for its playoff life.

If the Cardinals lose one of their final two games and the Chicago Bears win their last two, the Bears will be in and the Cardinals out.

So, yeah—the Rams can count on getting the Cardinals ‘A’ game. While the Rams beat the Cardinals by ten earlier this season, the Cardinals defense has been stepping up in recent weeks.

The Rams offense, on the other hand, has not been playing particularly well.

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