After yet another remarkable regular season under Sean McVay, the Los Angeles Rams have their sights set on the Super Bowl once again. Only this time, they’ll have one fewer game to win en route to the big game.
With a 13-3 record, the Rams earned the No. 2 seed and the first-round bye that comes with it. That means they’ll be home watching all the wild-card action this weekend as eight teams battle it out for a chance to make the divisional round where the Rams, Saints, Chiefs and Patriots await.
Needless to say, those four teams have a huge advantage, getting to rest and move directly to the second round of the playoffs. There are numbers to back it up, too, showing just how important a first-round bye is and how frequently those who earn one reach the Super Bowl.
As found by a user on Reddit, about 79 percent of the Super Bowl representatives under the current 12-team playoff format have come from the No. 1 or 2 seed and a team with a first-round bye is 7.3 time more likely to reach the Super Bowl than teams without one.
That seems obvious given the fact that they only have to win two games to reach the big one, but the chart is pretty jarring.
As for the Rams, in particular, history is certainly on their side. Since the NFL went to 10 playoff teams in 1978, the Rams have earned a first-round bye six times. In three of those years, they’ve reached the Super Bowl (one win) and won at least one game each year except for 2003.
- 2003: Lost in divisional round
- 2001: Lost in Super Bowl
- 1999: Won Super Bowl
- 1985: Lost in conference championship
- 1979: Lost in Super Bowl
- 1978: Lost in conference championship
The Rams have never reached the Super Bowl after playing on wild-card weekend, making it to the conference championship just once. Fortunately, they won’t be participating in the wild-card round this year, which greatly improves their chances of going all the way to Atlanta.
There’s still a long way to go until Super Bowl LIII, but the Rams have a golden opportunity to participate thanks to their Week 17 win and resulting first-round bye.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News