AFC playoff picture: Chiefs moving in


The Kansas City Chiefs are not in a playoff spot, but that is likely to change by the end of the night. The Chiefs throttled the San Diego Chargers, 33-3, at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday afternoon and now sit at 5-5. It is amazing to see how far this time has come over the last five weeks, after watching it stumble to a 1-5 mark.

The AFC has a logjam at the bottom of the playoff standings, and the Chiefs are leading the pack. Sunday’s action really helped out as well, with a couple of NFC teams beating some AFC foes. Let’s look at the standings all the way through, noting that the New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.

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

First, if the Bills lose to the undefeated Patriots, the Chiefs would jump them based on conference record. Kansas City also plays Buffalo at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, which will be a game rife with playoff implications.

Meanwhile, the Jets have played themselves into a tough spot. They still have road trips to Dallas, New England and Buffalo with other contests against the Dolphins and Giants. Oakland fell to the Detroit Lions and that is probably a death blow to their playoff hopes. Oakland has a brutal stretch ahead that includes Kansas City (x2), at Denver an home against the Green Bay Packers.

As for Kansas City, the schedule is really favoring it now. The Chiefs play four of their final six games at Arrowhead, including three against teams with losing records. One of their road games is against the Baltimore Ravens, who lost both running back Justin Forsett and quarterback Joe Flacco for the season with a broken arm and torn ACL, respectively. Frankly, it is hard to see the Ravens beating the Chiefs with that offense.

Next week, some of the notable games include:

Dolphins at Jets
Bills at Chiefs
Raiders at Titans
Patriots at Broncos
Steelers at Seahawks

Kansas City is in great position.