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Kansas City Chiefs playoff scenarios: Can they steal No. 1 seed?

Mahomes For Chiefs
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is ready to lead his team against the Chicago Bears. Pic credit: Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff scenarios almost put the team in a must-win situation during Sunday Night Football.

On Saturday, the Houston Texans beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to improve to 10-5 on the season. With the victory, the Texans clinched the AFC South and at least the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs.

In the updated NFL playoff standings, the Texans are now just half a game behind the Chiefs (10-4). The Texans also have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs, which is what makes the Week 16 Chiefs vs. Bears game important.

Kansas City Chiefs playoff scenarios

If the Chiefs beat the Chicago Bears in Week 16 and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17, the team could move up to the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoff standings.

To make that scenario come true, the Chiefs need the Baltimore Ravens to lose their last two games of the regular season. The Ravens play the Cleveland Browns in Week 16 and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17.

Earlier in the season, the Chiefs beat the Ravens, so they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker there. This would allow the Chiefs to secure a first-round bye in the postseason.

But here is where things could get really interesting.

If the New England Patriots lose to the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, the Ravens lose their last two games, and the Chiefs win their final two games, then it becomes the Kansas City Chiefs taking the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

What if Chiefs lose again?

If the Chiefs lose to the Bears, they drop to the No. 4 seed. It would still be a home playoff game, but they would have a tougher opponent in each round of the postseason.

Likewise, if the Chiefs lose in Week 17, but the Texans win their game, the Chiefs drop to No. 4 in the AFC playoff standings. This is why both games left on the schedule are very important.

A lot is still up in the air in regard to the Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff scenarios, but at least the team is guaranteed at least one home game in the NFL playoffs due to winning the AFC South.


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