Playoff scenarios: How can the Chiefs get the No. 1 seed?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs secured their playoff spot by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16.

Like AFC West Championsthe Chiefs are guaranteed to be ranked in the top 4 in the AFC playoff picture, however, the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week puts their fate in the hands of the 4-12 Houston Texans if they want to secure the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye.

The bosses win Chiefs lose
The Titans win Tennessee – No. 1
Kansas City – No. 2
Tennessee – No. 1
Kansas City – No. 2-4
titans lose Kansas City – No. 1
Tennessee – No. 2-3
Kansas City – No. 2-4
Tennessee – No. 1-3

The best-case scenario for Kansas City is for the Chiefs to beat the Denver Broncos Saturday afternoon.

A win will secure home-court advantage throughout the divisional round if they make it that far. In this case, if the Chiefs win the AFC Championship for the fourth consecutive time and face a team not named the Tennessee Titans, they will play at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

If the Chiefs win and the Texans can upset the Titans, Kansas City will get the coveted first-round and home-court advantage.


In reality, all of the AFC’s remaining matchups have playoff seeding implications, making it nearly impossible to guess who will be playing whom.

Assuming the Chiefs and Titans win (giving Kansas City the second seed), there are a few “most likely” situations barring major upsets.

If the playoffs started now, the Chiefs would host rival AFC West Los Angeles Chargers, with whom they tied the season streak 1-1, in the Wild Card round.

The Chargers play Sunday night in a must-see divisional game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

  • If the Raiders win, the Chargers will be knocked out of the playoffs and a host of other matchups will determine Vegas’ standings.
  • If the Raiders lose, they can still sneak into the playoffs with wins from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens, setting up a meeting in Arrowhead against the Chiefs.
  • If all of the “favorites” win and Las Vegas defeats the Chargers, the Raiders would move to the No. 6 seed and the Chiefs would face the Indianapolis Colts in the first round.

Things really take a chaotic turn if the Jacksonville Jaguars can upset the Colts.

Comments are closed.