AFC Playoff Picture, Week 15: KC Chiefs continue their free fall

How does the AFC playoff picture look after the 14th week of the NFL season and where do the KC Chiefs stack up?

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs
Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs lost an absolute heartbreaker against the Buffalo Bills in Week 14. They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory after an inexcusable offsides penalty by Kadarius Toney wiped away a go-ahead touchdown with under two minutes left.

For the fourth time in the Patrick Mahomes era, the Chiefs have lost consecutive games. This easily could be the least confident most fans have felt about the Chiefs since the dreadful 2-4 stretch in the 2021 season. Their offense isn't what it used to be, they make dumb mistakes on a consistent basis, and accountability seems to be a foreign concept.

After a loss to the Packers in Week 13, the Chiefs fell to the #3 seed. Where are they after another loss in Week 14?

AFC playoff picture, Week 15

1. Baltimore Ravens (10-3)

2. Miami Dolphins (9-4)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5)

5. Cleveland Browns (8-5)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6)

7. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

In the hunt: Houston Texans (7-6), Denver Broncos (7-6), Cincinnati Bengals (7-6), and Buffalo Bills (7-6).

The Patriots upset the Steelers on Thursday Night Football as the New England offense showed signs of life in the first half. The Browns earned their first win with Joe Flacco after beating the Jaguars. The Jets dominated the Texans as C.J. Stroud left the game in the second half with an injury. The Jake Browning-led Bengals won for the second straight game over the Colts. The Bills went into Arrowhead and beat the Chiefs in a thriller.

The Broncos crushed the Chargers after Justin Herbert left the game early with a finger injury. The Ravens escaped the Rams in overtime. The Raiders were beaten by the Vikings 3-0 in one of the worst games of the NFL season. The Titans completed an improbable 14-point comeback to stun the Dolphins.

To be blunt, the Chiefs are not a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season. Could they go on a run? Sure. They're 100% capable of beating anyone in the AFC on any field. The problem is their offense is pitiful and they make too many mistakes and neither of those issues appear to be getting solved before it's too late.

Their hopes of getting the #1 seed have sunk like a rock. They'll probably finish with the #2 or #3 seed but it's unlikely they'll catch Baltimore in the standings. They'll likely outrun Jacksonville since they have an easier schedule, plus the head-to-head tiebreaker. It should be noted that the Chiefs would hold the tiebreakers over every other division winner (except if the Bills were to win the AFC East), so if they can win out and Baltimore loses at least twice and Miami at least once, the Chiefs would recapture the #1 seed.

According to Team Rankings, the Ravens are now the strong favorite to land the #1 seed at 58.8%. After them are the Dolphins at 17.6%, then the Chiefs at 12.9%, and finally the Jaguars at 5.5%. The Ravens are also favorites to win Super Bowl LVIII in the AFC at 16.3%. They're followed by the Chiefs (9.0%), Dolphins (8.1%), and the Bills (3.7%).

The odds of the Chiefs figuring it out on offense this season are slim. Their best chance of making a successful run to Super Bowl LVIII is if their defense plays lights out and the offense doesn't turn the ball over. If either one doesn't hold, they're likely getting bounced in the divisional round or maybe even the AFC Championship Game, if they're lucky.