The Kansas City Chiefs can clinch their third playoff berth in four seasons with a win on Sunday, without a little help around the AFC.
After beating the Oakland Raiders on Thursday, the Chiefs moved to 10-3 and the second seed in the crowded AFC playoff picture. If the team wins out, the worst it could do is its current position, earning a bye week and at least one playoff game in Arrowhead Stadium.
This Sunday, Kansas City takes on the Tennessee Titans at home. With a win, the Chiefs would go to 11-3 and could clinch a playoff spot with only a loss from the Miami Dolphins needed. Andy Reid’s group would need to win and they start passing out the t-shirts and hats, should that be their choice.
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Basically, here’s how it breaks down for the competitors…
Denver (8-5) – The Chiefs beat out the Broncos via the AFC West tiebreaker. One more win and Denver can’t catch Kansas City even if it wins out.
Miami (8-5) – The Dolphins could win out and get to 11-5 with an 8-4 conference mark, which is the worst the Chiefs can do. It would then go to common opponents. If the Dolphins win out, they would move to 4-1 while Kansas City would be 3-2. This is the only fly in the ointment.
Baltimore (7-5) – The Ravens could win out, but if they do, they win the division. One of their games is against the Steelers. This would put Pittsburgh at 10-6, which means the Ravens don’t impact Kansas City and Pittsburgh can’t catch them.
Pittsburgh (7-5) – The Steelers could win out, but then they win the North and the Ravens can’t impact Kansas City. One or the other would be toast.