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Rams defeat Vikings to officially clinch 2021 playoff berth

Matthew Stafford and the Rams are officially headed to the playoffs after securing a 10-point victory over the Vikings and 49ers loss in Week 16.

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams looks to make a pass play in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Despite a bad game from quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Rams have officially clinched a 2021 playoff berth with a victory over the Vikings. Stafford threw for 197 passing yards, 1 TD and 3 INTs but still managed a 10-point victory to secure their run in the post-season in Week 16. It wasn’t without help from their divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, however, who lost against the Titans on Thursday Night Football.

How the Rams got here

After trading executing a QB swap with the Lions, the Rams knew they were In a spot to make a post-season splash. Sean McVay’s innovative play-calling paired with Stafford’s arm and an absolutely wild season from WR Cooper Kupp has created the perfect recipe to put points on the scoreboard. The defense has done its part as well, though with playmakers Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey at the center. Entering Week 16, the Rams had allowed the 8th fewest points and 9th fewest yards to opponents.

A Week 16 loss from the Cardinals and Rams victory leaves LA as leaders of the NFC West, with remaining games against the Ravens and their divisional rival, the 49ers. The Cardinals take on the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17, which will be a competitive outing with two teams that have started hot and have cooled in recent weeks. A Cardinals loss would seal the deal for the Rams as victors of the NFC West.