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NFL playoff picture: What does Rams-Vikings mean for NFC standings

The Rams face the Vikings in Minneapolis on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view after practice of U.S. Bank Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Result: The Rams beat the Vikings 30-23. LA clinched a playoff berth with the win and now holds a one-game lead on the Cardinals in the NFC West. The Vikings dropped to 7-8 and are now on the outside looking in at the wild card race.

The Minnesota Vikings host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Week 16 with plenty on the line for both teams. The Rams are in the mix for the NFC West title while the Vikings are scrambling for a wild card berth. Oh, and Minnesota is doing this knowing they’ll be without star running back Dalvin Cook due to COVID-19.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET on FOX. The Rams are 3.5-point road favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Rams playoff picture

The Rams are 10-4 and tied for first with the Cardinals in the NFC West. Arizona and LA split the head-to-head series and the Cardinals currently hold the tiebreaker edge based on divisional record. Arizona is 4-1 while LA is 3-2. If the Rams move ahead of the Cardinals at any point, they have a head-to-head tiebreaker edge on the Bucs, but currently lose the conference record tiebreaker to Dallas and Green Bay.

LA currently sits in fifth place in the overall standings. They are two games up on the 8-7 49ers. If LA loses out and the 49ers win out, San Francisco would claim the fifth seed and the Rams would be looking at the sixth seed due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. LA clinches no worse than fifth with one win or one 49ers loss over the final five games the two teams have remaining.

Vikings playoff picture

The Vikings are 7-7 and have the final wild card spot. They are tied with the Eagles and Saints and have tiebreakers on Philly based on common games record and on New Orleans based on conference record. All three are a half game back of the 49ers and a game up on Washington and Atlanta.

Relevant Week 16 matchups

Titans 20, 49ers 17
Packers 24, Rams 22
Colts 22, Cardinals 16
Lions (2-11-1) @ Falcons (6-8)
Giants (4-10) @ Eagles (7-7)
Buccaneers (10-4) @ Panthers (5-9)
Washington (6-8) @ Cowboys (10-4)
Dolphins (7-7) @ Saints (7-7)