Both the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams may have suffered embarrassing losses last week, but as Josh Looney notes, both are still aware that they control their own destiny with just three games remaining.
“If you would have said, ‘hey, with three games left you guys will be 8-5 and have your own control of destiny to get to the playoffs’ if you would have said that before the season started, I would have taken it,” G Brian Waters said. “I have absolutely no issue in where we are. The fact that we control our own destiny and don’t have to depend on anybody else to do anything else; that’s definitely what you want at this time in the season.”
Most Chiefs fans would have taken that as well, but the expectations have since changed. The Chiefs find themselves pushing for more against a Rams team that’s doing the same.
“The whole goal is to be successful during the season so that you can get into the playoffs, and then you start a whole new quest,” Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “To be sitting here entering Game 14 and that we can still accomplish our primary goal, which was to win the NFC West, is a good thing. We don’t really get stuck on standings and statistics, we just get focused on this game because there is something that we can get and that motivates us.”
It’s also important to note that both teams will still be in a position to nail down a playoff spot after Sunday’s game, though depending on how the other games around the league go down they may no longer have control of their own destiny.
For example, if the San Diego Chargers lose Thursday night to the San Francisco 49ers, a huge amount of pressure will be lifted off the shoulders of the Chiefs. That scenario, however, would make Sunday’s game even more important for the Rams who would then have the Niners and the Seattle Seahawks just one game behind them in the standings with a chance for all three to be tied at 6-8 in first place (yes, in first place while two games under .500).