Dec 6, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (19) scores a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
I would prefer to win the AFC West. The Chiefs already beat the Steelers in Arrowhead, and should have beaten the Broncos there too. Likewise, they have already beaten the Texans in Houston. No one should be concerned about the Colts right now (unless you believe in curses and think about the last couple of times Kansas City has seen them in the postseason). So the first round matchups are not a big compelling reason for me. I am more concerned about making sure the Chief actually make the playoffs.
As noted above, the Steelers are not likely to lose again if they beat the Broncos this weekend. Meaning that K.C. would need to run this win streak all the way to ten straight games in order to keep the fifth seed locked down. If the Chiefs do drop a game, they would have to rely on the Jets losing at least one game in order to stay in the wild card race. That is entirely possible as the Jets host the Patriots and then play at the Bills in their final two games of the season. But should they manage to go through Dallas, New England, and Buffalo, then Kansas City would be left out in the cold. With both Pittsburgh and New York at 11-5, and K.C. at 10-6.
So yes I would prefer the Chiefs go into the playoffs as a the AFC West champions, but that will require winning out and two losses in three games by the Broncos. That is all very possible, but it leaves no room for error.
On the other hand, should Denver win, Kansas City could go 2-1 to finish the season and would be practically guaranteed of a playoff berth at 10-6. And if the Jets lose once as well, then K.C. will be in the exact same position as they are today as the fifth seed.
I won’t shed a tear for Denver if it all goes south for them on Sunday. But when all is said and done, a Bronco victory may actually be the most advantageous thing for the Chiefs.