Win and they’re in.
The Arizona Cardinals dug themselves a hole on Saturday by losing to the San Francisco 49ers and putting their playoff hopes in the hands of others. But after games on Sunday, it’s back to a simple formula.
All they must do to make the NFL playoffs is win this coming Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams to leap-frog the 9-6 division rival.
A victory for Arizona (8-7) would tie both teams with 9-7 records to end the regular season. By splitting their head-to-head games, the Cardinals will own the tiebreaker with a better NFC West division record.
Arizona would be the sixth seed if it wins and the Chicago Bears fall to the Green Bay Packers in Week 17. The Cardinals would be the seventh seed if they win and the Bears also win because Chicago has a tiebreaker over Arizona.
What are the chances of the Cardinals beating the Rams to make the playoffs?
Here are projections from ESPN, FiveThirtyEight and Las Vegas oddsmakers — though the status of Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s injured thumb could change things later on in the week.
Arizona has 40.7% chances of beating the Rams, per the Football Power Index.
Compared to ESPN, the website is more in favor of the Cardinals chances of winning on the road, giving them 49% chance of beating the Rams.
Las Vegas’ line on the game opened in favor of Los Angeles by -4 to -5.