The Kansas City Chiefs can clinch a playoff spot next week with a win against the Oakland Raiders. Even if they lose, they can clinch a spot if the Baltimore Ravens or Miami Dolphins lose. It would take a perfect result in nine games for the Chiefs not to make the playoffs. In other words, they're getting in (at some point).
The way things are shaping up with three games to play, the Chiefs are probably going to be fifth seed and probably facing either the Colts, Bengals or Patriots. KC is just a game behind the Broncos in the AFC West but because Denver holds the tiebreaker, the Chiefs would have to go plus-two over the Broncos in the final three games to win the AFC West. The Broncos play the Chargers, Texans and Raiders in the final three games so the chances of them dropping all three seem really unlikely.
So let's say the Chiefs are likely the No. 5 seed. The most likely opponent at this point is the Colts. That would be the No. 5 seed playing the No. 4 seed.
Which team, at this point, would you rather face in the Wild Card round of the playoffs? Remember, this is likely going to be on the road, unless the Chiefs somehow find a way to win the AFC West.
Indianapolis Colts (8-5)
Points scored: 15th
Points against: 16th
By virtue of winning the AFC South, the Colts would host the Chiefs despite the Chiefs possibly having a better record. this will spark a debate about playoff seeding. It does every year.
I don't know these teams as well as I do the Chiefs so I usually look at the quarterbacks. Facing Andrew Luck would make me nervous because the Chiefs have struggled against really good quarterbacks (like most teams do).
Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)
Points scored: 9th
Points against: 6th
It feels like facing Andy Dalton over Andrew Luck would be the preferred route. But the Bengals defensive line is scary. They could make the day hell for Alex Smith trying to throw the ball.
Plus, AJ Green is just flat-out amazing. He could make life miserable for Kansas City.
New England Patriots (10-3)
Points scored: 5th
Points against: 10th
Sure, the Patriots are a different team without Rob Gronkowski, who tore his ACL. But these are still the Patriots. They are capable of putting up points in Broncos-like fashion. I do not want to play them in New England.