As the NFC playoff tree comes into shape, there’s a theory making the rounds that perhaps the team on track for the No. 3 seed would prefer to drop a spot. The Rams, if they win on Sunday against the 49ers or if the Saints lose to the Buccaneers, will be the No. 3 seed. If the Rams lose and the Saints win or Panthers win, the Rams will be the No. 4 seed. Under either scenario, the Rams will host a wild-card game before hitting the road for a divisional round game (if, of course, they win in the opening round). But who they play will hinge on where they land. And some think the Rams would prefer the path that comes from being the No. 4 seed. If the Falcons beat the Panthers on Sunday, the Panthers will be the No. 5 seed and the Falcons will be the No. 6 seed. The thinking is that Rams coach Sean McVay prefers to face the Panthers over the Falcons in the opening playoff game. (Consider what Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips did to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in Super Bowl 50, when Phillips was running the Denver defense.) Then, if the No. 3 seed beats the No. 6 seed, the Rams (with a win) would head to Philadelphia instead of Minnesota for the divisional round. Though both teams beat the Rams, the thinking is that the Eagles are far more vulnerable.