What To Root For: Week 14 NFL Games That Impact The Kansas City Chiefs Playoff Hopes

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Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid leaves the field after the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos won 29-16. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

December football is here and the Kansas City Chiefs, despite the odds many pundits (including myself) laid out for them before the season started, are in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt. Three more wins, and potentially only two, will earn the Chiefs their second consecutive trip to the postseason for the first time since the Chiefs made the playoffs every year from 1990 to 1995. That’s no small feat for Andy Reid and John Dorsey.

But if the Chiefs are going to keep their playoff train rolling, they may need a little bit of help from the outside. What help do they need this week? That’s the point of this post. (Yay, direct statements of purpose.)

Before we get into the week 14 games that will have an impact on the Chiefs’ playoff chances, we have to start with a disclaimer: None of this means much if the Chiefs do not win games. A statement of the obvious, I know, but it is important to note that the Chiefs have plenty of business they need to handle on their side of things for any of these scenarios to matter. I know you all know this, but it is import to make sure we are all on the same page. There’s no scenario in which the Chiefs make the playoffs with only seven wins.

That being said, if the Chiefs were going to lose a game before now and the end of the season, this Arizona game would be it.

If you were going to rank the final four games in terms of importance at this stage of the season, it would probably look like this: 1. San Diego Chargers, 2. Oakland Raiders, 3. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4. Arizona Cardinals.

The reason why the Arizona game doesn’t have as much impact as the other four games is because the Cardinals are a non-AFC team. In terms of the tie-breakers that are likely to matter when the season ends, Arizona won’t impact any of them. It is import that not only to the Chiefs accumulate as many head-t0-head tie-breakers as they can, it is almost more important that they finish with the best divisional record they can conjure and best AFC record they can achieve. It is their four AFC losses to Miami’s three that is currently keeping them out of the playoffs right now.

A loss to the Cardinals isn’t a killer, but it would put a lot of pressure on the Chiefs to win-out the rest of the season. Nine wins could get it done for Kansas City but they would need a lot of outside help to make that happen. Some of that outside help could come this week. Let’s break down some of those games that could impact the Chiefs’ run to January football.