Kansas City Chiefs Playoff Scenarios

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass during the second half of the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Denver won 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been awhile since the words “Kansas City Chiefs, Playoffs and Week 14″ were all  used in the same sentence without the word “elimination” being thrown in there somewhere. Actually, I think about 10 years ago was the last time there was all this talk about the Chiefs making the playoffs before Christmas. But the fact remains that if the Chiefs are able to pull off a win this weekend, they will secure a playoff birth.

You heard that right.

Of course, as these playoff scenarios usually go, they’ll need some help.  Funny enough, in order for the Chiefs to get an asterisks next to their name in the standings list, indicating they’ve secured that playoff berth, two other teams will have to get victories.  The Minnesota Vikings will have to beat the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers will have to beat the Miami Dolphins.

Wait for it…wait for it…

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this all means that not only will you be rooting for the Chiefs this weekend, but also former Chiefs signal caller Matt Cassel and former head coach Todd Haley.

Karma, what did we ever do to you?

But what exactly is that playoff spot that the Chiefs will secure?

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) jumps in for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Denver won the game 35-28. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Most Chiefs fans realize that with the last three losses, the chance of running away with the AFC’s #1 or even #2 seed in the playoffs is a very slim chance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible. The Denver Broncos could drop their next two games to the Tennessee Titans and the San Diego Chargers while the Chiefs could win their next two games against the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders. Stranger things have happened in this league. But I’m not sitting here thinking that’s how the Chiefs will find their way into the post season tournament.

No, more likely is that the Chiefs will enter the post season exactly how they started. At the bottom and as the under dog.

Currently, the Chiefs own the #5 seed. That means that they will play who ever ends the season as the #4 seed on Wildcard Weekend either January 4th or 5th. Currently, they’re slotted to play the Cincinnati Bengals but that could flip flop with the Indianapolis Colts and any time.

Dec 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws the ball in the 3rd quarter during the Bengals 17-10 win over the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously having home field is important, and so I’m not going to blow smoke up your backside and call it sunshine. I’m not going to

tell you that the Chiefs are better off at the #5 than the #1. However, what I will tell you is that while the Broncos and the New England Patriots — who currently own the #2 seed — sit at home and watch the playoffs, the Chiefs will be playing and if they win gaining momentum into the divisional round.

Now, I’ll pause this lesson in NFL Playoff mechanics to say that there are many Chiefs fans who have stated that a playoff victory — and relief from the curse of the last 20 years — would signal the ultimate success for the Andy Reid and John Dorsey regime era in its first year. I don’t disagree with that. However, I’ll be hard pressed to say that if the Chiefs win, I’ll head into the second week of the playoffs saying “it’s okay if they lose. After all, they’ve already won one playoff game.” It’s just not going to happen. I’ll be devastated. And so will all you. And you’re liars if you say otherwise.

I digress.

Should the Chiefs win on the opening weekend of the playoffs, the only way they will face a team not named the Denver Broncos is if the #6 seed wins as well. Of course, that’s not out of the realm of possibility. With the Colts as up and down as they are currently holding the #3 seed, I think any of the teams who could potentially be the #6 — right now the Ravens, Dolphins, Titans, Steelers and even the Chargers — could beat them. If that happened, the Chiefs would then face the New England Patriots in Foxboro Stadium.

Either way, it’s an uphill battle for the Chiefs. On the one hand, the Broncos have been the Chiefs kryptonite this season, beating them twice. Although, as one AA commenter said earlier this week, “I’ve never seen a team beat another team three times in one season.” I have to admit, I’ve never seen that either. If you combine that with the fact that Peyton Manning has an affinity for choking in the playoffs, perhaps the Chiefs taking the trip back to the Mile High city after winning their first playoff game in 20 years isn’t so daunting.

Dec 1, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) attempts a pass against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On the other hand, taking on a limping Patriots team with a receiving corps even the NFL Network needs a program to identify, isn’t an impossible task. Yes, Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, but he’s no spring chicken and at what point does he stop being able to carry the team on his back?

The ultimate scenario, though?

The Chiefs playing the Bengals in the first round and winning and having the #6 seed beat the Colts. Then the Chiefs defeating the Pats and facing the Broncos for the AFC title in Mile High.

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Junior Hemingway (88) is congratulated by fullback Anthony Sherman (42) after a touchdown during the first half of the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. There are still four games to go in the regular season games left and the Chiefs need to win every single one of them. But the fact that we’re talking Chiefs and playoffs in Week 14 has me excited.

I’ve never been more eager for Matt Cassel and Todd Haley to win a game!

Go Chiefs…and Vikings…and Steelers!

**Special thanks to Stacy “Reach” Smith for pointing out the fact that we’d have to root for Cassel and Haley this weekend. Good looking out Stacy!

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

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  • kcpauly

    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!

  • 2dogs

    Good points but do we need to win the last four games? I would think getting the team healthy the last two weeks would be the most important thing. I’d play the Chargers like it was game four of the preseason.

  • Priest4Prez

    If there’s any bright spot to these last few weeks is: that teams who get hot at the right time heading to the playoffs seem to do better. I believe winning the last four is supremely important; it keeps any team from magically taking us out of the playoffs(see 2008 Patriots).
    If you look at another positive approach, this team can handle runs of multiple wins without faltering (9 straight); so keep that energy running right into either the Colts or Bengals. I’ve accused this team of not being winners, or not trying hard enough recently but in all honesty that’s just frustration. This is one of the best Chiefs teams fielded in the last 10 years, both sides of the ball; and they’ve showed up each game…whether that’s been in a win or a loss. I can see a 13-3 record and the first playoff win in a loooong time. I’m back to believing after being pessimistic after 3 weeks. Thanks Jason, keep the faith buddy. Go Chiefs!!

  • Stephen Doroha

    As sad as it sounds the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Pittsburg Steelers 3 times in 2008!! But I’m praying 3rd times the charm for the Chiefs!! GO CHIEFS!!

  • ahsum99ss

    if and when we get Houston back, then we will have better opportunity to pressure the quarterback. not to mention get Tamba Hali healthy. we could make a good run at it. the offense is picking up if they will practice CATCHING the ball. Avery dropped too many balls along with others. go CHIEFS

  • Chris Tarrants

    I like this scenario better, Peyton Manning slips on ice outside of milehigh stadium this week and breaks his right arm. The broncos go on a four game losing streak and the chiefs regain the afc west title while the broncos lose to to Andrew “the new Peyton” Luck. While the Chiefs get a first round bye before beating the Bengals in the second round! Oh and shortly after the season Peyton Manning announces his retirement

  • paul

    Please do some research before u post articles that are incorrect. The chiefs need a victory and need 1 of the those teams 2 lose. there are 2 wildcard spots. Everyone else has 7 losses except Baltimore and Miami. if we win and one lose we clinch,

  • trinity

    The chiefs don’t have a shot in hell of beating the patriots or the broncos in the postseason. Lol it’s laughable to think otherwise honestly. The fact is that this team has lost to every real quarterback they’ve played this season. Peyton, rivers, then peyton again. Houston and hali are not 100%, and even when they were, the chiefs defense was getting exposed. Plus, Alex smith is Alex smith. Sure, he’s had a couple decent games of late. But considering that they came in losses, one could easily say that all he proved was that even his best is not good enough without the defense to carry him like usual. Chiefs fans claim their team gets no respect. Honestly, they’ve gotten too much respect. They will get the 5 seed, and then get sent home in the second round. Period.

    • Derek Jamison

      Alex smith has been excellent this season. How many dropped passes has the recievers dropped from him the past few weeks? Smith has been clutch this year and if the people around him were playing better they would be undeafeated.

      • trinity

        You say if the people around him were playing better they would be undefeated. Guess what? They’re not, so they aren’t. And sure, Alex has played pretty good the last 3 games. But that isn’t enough to discount the fact that he’s spent an entire career proving that he’s more of a game manager than a winning quarterback. He doesn’t suck, and he will occasionally have some nice moments. But he is most definitely a game manager, and that’s what he will always be. Combine that with the fact that the defense is only dominant against backup quarterbacks, and you have a team that isn’t playing past the second round.

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