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What Rams win over Saints in Week 16 means for NFL playoff picture in NFC

The Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints in Week 16 of the NFL season. We break down what it means for the NFC playoff picture.

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams high-fives Cooper Kupp #10 on the sideline against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter of the game at SoFi Stadium on December 21, 2023 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams welcomed the New Orleans Saints to town for their Week 16 matchup on Thursday night. The game was close in the first quarter, and New Orleans made it close in the end, but Los Angeles held on to secure the 30-22 victory. The Rams move to 8-7, while the Saints drop to 7-8. Let’s take a look at what this means for the NFL playoff picture as we head into the weekend.

Even if Los Angeles were to win out, they would not be able to catch the San Francisco 49ers, who have already locked down the NFC West. This guarantees the 49ers a top-four spot in the NFC playoffs, and really top three with how the NFC South has been playing. The best the Rams can do is a 5-seed, but they went into Thursday night’s game as the No. 7 seed. Los Angeles moves up to the No. 6 seed win the win, swapping places with the Minnesota Vikings.

New Orleans remains second in the NFC South and waiting to see what happens with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons games this weekend. The Saints remain in the No. 9 spot in the playoff picture. If the Bucs and Falcons both win this week, New Orleans will drop to third in the division.