Chiefs: five things to give thanks for

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They Beat the Teams They Needed to Beat

Sep 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork (75) battles Kansas City Chiefs tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

At multiple times this season we have seen the Chiefs beat themselves. But in the single contest they won over the first six weeks, they actually managed to beat the team they needed to the most.

Yes, it would have been great to see them win them all. And a win over the Broncos in K.C. would have been huge.  But assuming that the rest of the season would have played out the same, and the Chiefs could only win one game out of those first six, then taking down Houston was the best option.

I say that because the Chiefs would not be in a Wild Card slot right now otherwise. Had they lost to the Texans, then Houston would hold the sixth seed (or fifth, depending how the tiebreaker with Pittsburgh would have worked out) outright with a 6-4 record. That would give them a one game advantage and a head-to-head tiebreaker over K.C. As it stands, the Chiefs hold the tiebreaker.

The middle of the AFC is really tight. Kansas City is in a four-way tie for that sixth seed, with Pittsburgh only a game ahead of them, and the Raiders, Dolphins, and Jaguars only one game behind. Things could get very interesting over the finals weeks of the season, with any number of tiebreaker scenarios coming into play. Thankfully, most of K.C.’s losses have come against NFC opponents. And their AFC losses (Broncos and Bengals) are against teams that they are unlikely to be in a tiebreaker against.

The Chiefs currently have head-to-head tiebreakers against both Houston and Pittsburgh, and can pick up another valuable head-to-head with a win against Buffalo this weekend.

If Kansas City had to be 5-5 going into this weekend, then this is almost the optimal setup (though switching the result of the first Denver match-up with the Detroit game would have been the best).

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