Kansas City Chiefs Playoff Chances Show Importance Of Division Games

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 28: Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring a touchdown to take a 20-7 lead against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on November 28 2010 in Seattle Washington. The Chiefs defeated the Seahawks 42-24. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of what appears to be a dog fight with the San Diego Chargers for the AFC West title. The rest of the games definitely matter for KC but it looks like this thing will come down to the Dec. 12 game in San Diego. A KC win puts them in excellent position to win the division, even with room for error down the stretch. But a KC loss....

With the way the division is going now -- KC at 7-4 and San Diego at 6-5 -- playoff tiebreakers may matter. The winner of the division will be the team with the best record -- but what about identical records? There are a couple of tiebreaker formulas for that including head-to-head record and record within the division.

If KC beats San Diego on Dec. 12, they own the head-to-head matchup and a tie would go them. If San Diego beats KC then we move to the next division tiebreaker, which is division games.

The Chiefs are 1-2 in the division with losses to the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos. The Chargers are 1-2 in the division with losses to the Chiefs and Raiders. Both teams play the other three division opponents in their final five games.

[Editor's Note: You think NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knew what he was doing pushing more divisional games late into the season?]

While it's important that KC wins every game down the stretch, the division games have a little extra to it. So if you didn't already like the Raiders, Broncos or Chargers, now's the time to turn up the heat.

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