From No. 1 to No. 4, the possibilities are endless for Kansas City.
The Chiefs are in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season on the back of their fifth consecutive division crown. Their playoff journey is just getting started, though, and their playoff seeding has yet to be settled.
While their playoff berth has been clinched, the Chiefs can land anywhere from the No. 1 seed to the No. 4 seed depending on results from this weekend’s games. What’s most important is that KC takes care of business vs. the Broncos. The rest is out of their control.
Here’s how it shakes out:
How the Chiefs can get the No. 1 seed in AFC
It’s pretty simple. The Chiefs can re-secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC with:
- A win vs. the Broncos AND a Titans loss to the Texans;
- A tie vs. the Broncos AND a Titans loss to the Texans.
So, really, it’s difficult to see a spot where the Chiefs end up with the top seed in the AFC this weekend.
But, if there’s any hope for the Chiefs and the No. 1 seed in the AFC, it’s this: The Texans currently hold a win over the Titans in the 2021 season. Houston downed the Titans in Nashville in Week 11, winning 22-13. Now, the Titans travel to Houston in Week 18.
The Titans have also had a tendency to playing down to their opponents this year, losing to the Texans, the 4-12 Jets and the Steelers.
Christmas might have come and gone, but the Chiefs may still be hoping there’s a miracle left in the bag.
How the Chiefs can get the No. 2 seed in AFC
Kansas City might miss out on the No. 1 seed, but they can still clinch the No. 2 seed with the following:
- A win over the Broncos OR;
- A loss vs. the Broncos AND losses by the Bills, Patriots and Bengals.
The benefits of the No. 2 seed are significantly less appealing with the NFL expanding the playoffs to include an extra team in each conference. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds used to get the advantage of having a first-round bye, but now, the No. 2 seed must play vs. the No. 7 seed during wild-card weekend.
Other Chiefs AFC seeding scenarios
Kansas City can go anywhere from the No. 1 seed to the No. 3 or 4 seed with certain results during Week 18:
- If the Chiefs lose and the Bengals lose and the Bills win, the Chiefs will be the No. 3 seed.
- If the Chiefs lose and the Bengals and Bills both win, the Chiefs will be the No. 4 seed.
These results are somewhat independent of what happens with the Patriots-Dolphins matchup.