Entering Week 16, the Arizona Cardinals had control of their playoff destiny, holding on to the No. 7 seed in the NFC. All they needed to do was keep winning. However, they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 20-12 and now need some help.
If the Chicago Bears defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, they would tie Arizona’s 8-7 record and take over the No. 7 seed by virtue of tiebreakers.
The Cardinals would need to win in Week 17 and have the Bears lose to the Green Bay Packers to overtake them for the final wild card berth.
However, there is one scenario in which the Cardinals do not need anything from the Bears.
Cardinals fans should be Seattle Seahawks fans on Sunday.
If the Seahawks defeat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, they will clinch the division and set up a win-and-you’re-in game between the Rams and Cardinals in Week 17.
A loss to the Seahawks would drop the Rams to 9-6.
The Cardinals and Rams play in Week 17 if they win, they would improve to 9-7 and drop the Rams to the same record. However, the Cardinals would clinch second place in the division and, if the Bears win in Week 17, would create a three-team tie for the sixth and seventh seeds.
The Rams would be eliminated. They would have split the season series with the Cardinals but would have gone 2-4 in the division while the Cardinals go 3-3. The Bears would hold the sixth seed, the Cardinals would hold the seventh seed and the Rams would get bumped.
So if the Seahawks can beat Los Angeles on Sunday, the Cardinals do control their destiny. Win and they’re in. Lose and they go home.
So on Sunday, as painful as it might be for Cardinals fans, we should all be Seahawks fans for a day.