With three games remaining in the regular season, the Rush are out of control.
Variable Arena Football League playoff possibilities leave the Rush (9-6) desperately in need of a victory against first-place San Antonio (12-3) on Sunday, as well as a little help from their National Conference playoff contenders San Jose (10-6) and Utah (11-5).
Eight teams make the AFL playoffs — the four division champions and the next two teams with the best records in the American and National Conferences, respectively.
"Hopefully we'll catch a break with one of the teams ahead of us losing," Rush coach Bob McMillen said. "But it all rests on our ability to play our game, win football games and limit our mistakes."
San Antonio already has clinched a playoff berth and is riding a nine-game winning streak behind 41-year-old quarterback Aaron Garcia, who has thrown 96 touchdown passes. This will be the Rush's final home game; they are 7-1 at Allstate Arena. They finish the season at Milwaukee and Cleveland.
"It's coming down to a season now," quarterback Russ Michna said. "We just have to keep on doing what we're doing and keep on fighting our way through and hopefully win a few games to close out the year."
The Rush will need at least one more loss by San Jose, which played late Saturday, and two by Utah to make the postseason for the 11th straight year, assuming the Rush win out.
"Our efforts have been good (this year), but at times they haven't been good enough," receiver Jared Perry said. "We have to stop the mental mistakes, eliminate our turnovers."
Michna is just 27 completions shy of breaking Matt D'Orazio's single-season franchise record of 351 completions, set in 2007. Last weekend against San Jose, Michna broke the Rush record for TD passes in a season with 83.
"Each time I'm told I've broken a record it's always a surprise," Michna said. "It has been a blessing to play for this organization and have the longevity I've had in this league. Hopefully the records that fall translate into wins because in the end it's all that matters."
Rush fighting for their playoff lives
Need victory Sunday over San Antonio
(Tribune illustration / April 6, 2012)