As we near the final 3-game stretch of our season, we find ourselves in position with a reasonable chance at the #1 seed, securing home field advantage at the loudest outdoor stadium on Earth. Looking back on our expectations for this season, honestly who thought we could be where we are now? I know we had a rough 3 week stretch in there, but looking at what needs to happen for us to win the West and take the top seed, it's not that crazy to believe it could happen. So here it is, what needs to happen:
First, and most importantly, we need to take care of business and win our final 3 games. This is important regardless of what else happens, so we can carry some momentum into the playoffs. Our remaining schedule is:
@Raiders- It's always tough playing division games on the road, but we're clearly the better team in this matchup. If we can't win games like this, it won't matter what seed we are, we won't do anything in the postseason. I think the Chiefs have about a 90% chance in this one.
Colts@ home- I realize that this Colts team has a winning record and one of the best young QB's in the game, but they haven't been the same since they lost Wayne for the season. That, combined with the advantage of playing at Arrowhead, gives us the win here IMO. Also, following the same theme as above, we need to be able to beat teams like this if we are going to go far in the playoffs. I think the Chiefs have about a 70% chance to win this one.
@Chargers- This is the game that scares me most of the 3. San Diego is still in the hunt for the Wild Card and unless they lose next week, they'll be in win or go home mode. This, combined with the fact that this same team beat us once already this season, makes this a dangerous game for us. I think we'll have to play one of our best games of the season to beat San Diego on the road, but I think Andy and Alex will understand the stakes and really let the offense loose for this one. This is our toughest remaining test. I think the Chiefs have around a 50% chance of winning this game. It could go either way.
The second thing we need to lock up the the #1 seed is for Denver to lose one more game. If both of us win out from here on, we'll finish with the same record at 13-3, with Denver holding the tiebreaker of head-to-head record. So, let's have a look at Denver's remaining schedule:
@Texans- I think this is the more likely upset of the two remaining games. Houston has been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this year, mostly because they have so much talent. This talent is precisely the reason why I think they can pull this one off. Defensively, they match up really well with Denver. They have the ability to slow down Peyton and Co. This matchup depends entirely on how many points the Texans can put up on the Broncos defense. If they can somehow make it to 30, they have a chance to pull it off. I say the Broncos have about a 75% chance in this one.
@Raiders- Let's be honest here, it will probably take some sort of a miracle for Oakland to win this one. They are clearly inferior, and their defense struggles to keep even the worst NFL offenses at bay. But, stranger things have happened (the 07 Chiefs somehow backing into the playoffs, anyone?) I wouldn't place any bets on Oakland beating Manning and the Broncos. I think the Broncos have about a 90% chance of winning this one.
Third, Even if both of those things happen, the Chiefs need New England to lose one of their remaining 3 games. This seems fairly likely, given the loss of Gronkowski, and the relative toughness of their remaining schedule. Speaking of schedule, let's take a look:
@Dolphins- Miami is playing their best football of the season right now. I think it will be tough to go into their stadium and beat them when so much is on the line. They are my pick to get the #6 seed in the AFC, and this matchup is a big part of that. I don't think the Patriots have much better than a 50% chance in this one.
@Ravens- Much like the Dolphins, the Ravens will have everything on the line in this game. It's always dangerous facing a team that is already in win or go home mode, especially when you are on the road against the a few players from the defending Super Bowl Champs (see what I did there?) I don't think New England has much better than a 50% chance in this one either.
Bills @ home- This game seems like a lock to me. I really doubt that the Patriots lose this game, at home, to a team as dysfunctional as the Bills. Not much more to say about this one. I think the Pats have around a 90% chance in this one.
So... Assuming that all of my probabilities are correct, here are the probablities for:
The Chiefs winning out- 31.5%
The Broncos losing either one of their games- 32.5%
The Patriots losing one of 3 games- 77.5%
The Chiefs getting the #1 seed- 7.9%
After watching the last few games for the Chiefs, Broncos, and Patriots, I honestly think our chances are better than this. But I know how we all like numbers here at AP (even if these don't mean anything). So let me know how good our chances are, and tell me why in the comments.
Also, Thanks for reading. I don't post much on here, but I read a lot of what others post.