Chiefs Playoff Picture: Week 14

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Arrowhead Guys looks at the current playoff standings.

Where do the Chiefs stand in the playoff race?

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If you remember last week’s playoff picture, you’ll know that a Chiefs loss against the Raiders would have dramatically complicated the division race, while a win simplified it.

Thankfully the Chiefs won, so we get the simple picture.

Division

The Chiefs have a 2 game lead and the tiebreaker. With 4 games remaining that means the Raiders have to be at least 3 games better over the last 4 to win the division. That’s not going to happen.

With a magic number of 2 it’s possible the Chiefs clinch the division this week with a win against the Patriots and a Raiders loss to the Titans. The Broncos are technically still alive in the division race, but need to win out and have the Chiefs lose out. The Chargers are eliminated due to tiebreakers.

First Round Bye

The most important race now is for the first round bye, which will be difficult but not impossible. Naturally we need to jump either the Ravens or the Patriots. We already have the tiebreaker over the Ravens, and will have the tiebreaker over the Patriots if we win this week (if we lose we won’t have much of a chance at the bye regardless).

That makes things easier, but even if we win out we still would need the Patriots to lose another game or the Ravens to lose two more games.

After the Chiefs, the Patriots have the Bengals, Bills, and Dolphins left on the schedule. As it stands the Bills have a chance, but it may be asking a bit much for the Bengals or Dolphins to beat them. To jump the Patriots we’d realistically need them to lose to the Bills.

The Ravens have the Bills, Browns, Jets, and Steelers. Again the Bills have a chance, but the Ravens should be significantly better than those other 3 teams. However, keep in mind that the Browns beat them easily and the Steelers took them to overtime earlier in the season, so I wouldn’t write those games off yet.

So the Chiefs have a path to a bye, but they need to win out to have a realistic chance.

The 3 Seed

In my opinion there’s not enough of a difference between the 3 and 4 seed to be worth worrying about, but for completeness I’ll talk about it.

Obviously the Texans are the main talking point here, and they have the same record as us but have the tiebreaker. That means we need a better record than them over the last 4 games.

They have the Broncos, Titans, Buccaneers, and Titans (again) remaining. While they’ll be favored in most or all of those games, I don’t see them going 4-0. If the Chiefs win out I’d be surprised if the Texans were an issue.

Possible First Round Opponent

SeedTeamWinsLosses
5Buffalo Bills94
6Pittsburgh Steelers85
7Tennessee Titans85

Of course who we play depends on what our seed is, but right now with the 4th seed we would play the Bills, who have a stranglehold on the first wildcard slot.

If we get the 3rd seed it suddenly becomes much more complicated. 4 teams are within 1 game of that spot. Personally, I wouldn’t mind having a rematch with the Raiders, since we seem to have a pretty easy time beating them. The Steelers also wouldn’t be a bad get as they’re not as good as their record indicates.

The Colts and Titans would make me a bit more nervous, if only because they already beat us. Although even then I don’t think either game would be replicated (Mahomes only scoring 13 or the number of ridiculous plays the Titans had are unlikely to happen again).

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NovaChiefs
NovaChiefs

Somewhere I read a stat that Andy wasn’t very good at beating a team in the playoffs that he lost to during the season. So, this makes it easy, in my book. No TEN, IND, HOU. Beat the Pats, and it doesn’t matter between BAL & them. Lose to them, give me BUF/PIT (haven’t played them, so that stat is out) & BAL. Plus, LJ is 2-3 against teams he’s played before, both wins against the Bengals, which hardly counts.
It ain’t much to go on & past results are not indicative of future gains & all that, but it’s a plan anyway.

KCChef
KCChef

( Obligatory )
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vvet818

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CHIEFSandSABRES

It’s time to make our mark. Beat everyone and go to the Super Bowl. Have the same attitude the Royals had in 2015. Let your “nuts hang out” as Frank Clark says. Just do it as Nike says.

Jdklks
Jdklks

I think there is a huge difference between the 3 and 4 seed this year. If the standings remain the same, I’d much rather play Pitt than Buf. Not even close.

Armychiefj
Armychiefj

Remember, if the Bills win out and the Chiefs win out, they would take the AFC East and be one of the top two seeds. So we also need the Bills to lose at least one more, but not have that loss be to the Pats. But then, I have no idea what the tie break scenarios are if the Bills, Pats, and us all finished at 12-4.

ChiefOfTheWolfpack
ChiefOfTheWolfpack

If we all go 12-4, we win tiebreakers against both NE and BUF. NE because of head to head (we would have to win out to get to 12-4, including against them) and BUF because of division record (we’d sweep and the Bills have at least 1 division loss)

BleedingRedAndGold

In not-serious football terms, I’d rather not play either TEN or OAK. TEN because I’d spend the whole game wondering if/when a ref would favor them with a game-altering call, most likely followed by an incredibly fluky play that allowed them to steal an upset only to collapse in the next round. OakVegas, OTOH, isn’t so much being afraid of how good they are, but the added risk of how their fans would act if the refs decided to be color blind and called the game plan they were preparing in case TEN played us. Lose and the blackholers would be insufferable, win and the reaction would be “So what, it’s just the Raiders”.

But then again I might feel differently once I’ve had some coffee.

ChiefOfTheWolfpack
ChiefOfTheWolfpack

I think beating the Raiders 3 times in one season is a great thing, personally.

BDChiefsFan

while i would love to throw a playoff win over the Raiders to every fcuking Raiders fans face (when they say we dont win in playoffs), i think the pain of them missing the playoffs again would be much more fun to inflict.

i think we might be better off as the the 3rd seed than the 4th seed. I would rather slay the Titans in the playoffs (and defeat another curse) on the way to the SB.

BleedingRedAndGold

There is that, I was too caught up in thinking about the risk/reward of the game in isolation. Your point alters that equation, and I withdraw my reservations about playing the Raiders.

And that’s why I need to start the day out caffeinated, folks. lol