KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Coach Andy Reid left no doubt how the Chiefs’ starters are approaching Week 17 even with a playoff spot secured.
“They’re all going to play,” Reid said Wednesday. “Everybody’s playing.”
While Reid wasn’t as dramatic as former NFL coach Herm Edwards’ famous rant, “Hello! You play to win the game,” on how to approach a game, the Chiefs coach was also clear on his team’s mission Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
“We’re playing to win,” Reid said. “That’s the way we go into every game. That’s how we’re going.”
A good thing, obviously, because the Chiefs have plenty to play for in the season finale.
The AFC West division is on the line between the Denver Broncos (11-4) and Chiefs (10-5), and with that a potential No. 3 seed and the right to host a playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium.
But for that to happen, the Broncos have to lose to the visiting San Diego Chargers and the Chiefs have to take care of business against the Raiders to force the tiebreaker, which the Chiefs own.
The Broncos and Chiefs will kick off their respective games at 3:25 p.m. CT, so there could be a chance to monitor each other on the scoreboard.
Reid, however, indicated that wouldn’t be the case, at least at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I’m not even sure of all the scenarios,” Reid said. “I just know we have to play this one and everybody’s getting ready to do that and that’s how we’re focused. We haven’t really gone beyond that.”
If the Chiefs don’t win the AFC West, the team will be on the road as either a fifth or sixth seed depending on the outcomes of the New York Jets-Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers-Cleveland Browns contests.
The Chiefs would be the fifth seed if they finish in a tie with the Jets (10-5) or Steelers (9-6), but would be the sixth seed if the Jets finish with the better record.
But for all the scenarios, Reid’s message of maintaining focus on the task at hand has been received loud and clear in the locker room.
“It’s our chance to get 10 straight games in a row so instead of talking about that, I think the most important thing is just to focus about us,” right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif said. “Focus on what we want to do, what we want to do on the field on Sunday and impose our will.”