AFC playoff picture: How the Kansas City Chiefs can clinch their postseason spot

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Strong safety Daniel Sorensen
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Strong safety Daniel Sorensen /

The Kansas City Chiefs can become the fourth AFC team to punch their ticket to the postseason on Sunday. Here are all the scenarios that can make it happen.

The Kansas City Chiefs host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday that could serve as a potential trap game. The Chiefs are fresh off of two consecutive games, within six days of each other, that were both labeled must win. They stared down the two rival franchises they were tied with atop the AFC West and dominated them both in the end. Now that the much anticipated two-game streak featuring the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers is now over, the Dolphins could be easily overlooked.

That would be a mistake, of course. The Dolphins are 6-8 and would like to figure out a way to finish at .500 in Adam Gase’s second year. This season has been a letdown for a team that made the playoffs last year, but they’ve weathered a much tougher schedule and lost their starting quarterback before they really got going. If Gase can hit .500 and build some momentum into next year, he will do a real service to the players and fans in South Florida.

Gase’s task starts on Sunday at Arrowhead against fellow head Andy Reid, but the Chiefs themselves can also take care of business as well. The Chiefs can officially become the fourth team in the AFC to clinch their postseason ticket and lock up the AFC West at the exact same time. The Chiefs only need a single win in their final two games to pull it off, but you also know that the Denver Broncos would love to play the role of spoiler against the Chiefs, who they host in Week 17.

The Chiefs can clinch their playoff scenario officially in one of three ways this week:

1. With a win over the Miami Dolphins

2. With a Chargers loss to the New York Jets

3. If both aforementioned games result in a tie

If the Chiefs lose and Chargers win, then the Chiefs face a must-win situation at Mile High Stadium to end the year. While they would undoubtedly be the odds-on favorites to win that game, it’s also much easier on all parties involved if the Chiefs can just take care of things at Arrowhead on Sunday.