AFC playoff picture: Chiefs are coming


The Kansas City Chiefs were dead and buried. They were called losers, quitters, gutless, and every other term under the sun. It came from the national writers, it came from right here.

Then, at 1-5, the Chiefs decided to fight. They showed us the courage that few believed they had. Despite seemingly  being out of the postseason chase and ready for their funeral, this group rose up and showcased a beating heart that had been pronounced dead on arrival.

Still, after wins against the Landry Jones-led Pittsburgh Steelers and the one-win Detroit Lions, doubt remained as to whether Kansas City had turned the proverbial corner. After its unmitigated pasting of the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field on Sunday night, that doubt has vanished.

The Chiefs are now 4-5 and suddenly brimming with hope. The bandwagon, once chock full and then abondoned, is now taking on ample weight again. Kansas City is giving reason to dream of the playoffs, and perhaps a run inside of them. At this point, even without Jamaal Charles, it seems anything is possible for a team that has loudly stated its intentions.

Here is the AFC playoff picture after 10 weeks (with Houston and Cincinnati playing on Monday)2.3.

1. New England Patriots   9-0
2. Cincinnati Bengals        8-0
3. Denver Broncos             7-2
4. Indianapolis Colts         4-5
5. Pittsburgh Steelers        6-4
6. Buffalo Bills                    5-4
7. New York Jets                5-4
8. Kansas City Chiefs        4-5
9. Oakland Raiders           4-5
10. Miami Dolphins          4-5
11. Houston Texans           3-5
12. Jacksonville Jaguars   3-5
13. Baltimore Ravens        2-7
14. San Diego Chargers    2-7
15. Tennessee Titans        2-7
16. Cleveland Browns       2-8

The Chiefs win the tiebreakers against both the Dolphins and Raiders, based off conference record. The best part about the rest of the schedule for Kansas City is the weak teams remaining. The best team the Chiefs play is the Bills, who are only a game ahead in the standings.

Kansas City also has two games left with the Chargers and Raiders apiece, and contests with the Ravens and Browns. The Chiefs could be favored in every game the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Buffalo still has to play at New England, along with trips to Philadelphia and Washington. Neither are impossible, but neither is a guaranteed win. Buffalo also hosts the Dolphins and Cowboys.

If the Chiefs get to 9-7, they will make the playoffs. Should Kansas City get to 10-6, it would assuredly be the No. 5 seed because it will win tiebreakers with almost every team in the conference.

I’ll leave you with this outlandish but not impossible thought. The Chiefs beat the Raiders and Chargers each time they play. They also beat two of Buffalo, Baltimore and Cleveland. Denver loses to New England, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and either San Diego (x2), Oakland or Chicago. The Chiefs win the AFC West.

Dream on…