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Chiefs could clinch playoff spot before the Raiders game

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Believe it or not, the Chiefs could clinch a playoff spot before they even play today.

Peter Aiken

I mentioned this earlier in passing but figured the importance of it merited a new post on it.

The Chiefs play the Raiders at 3:05 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) this afternoon. It's possible -- or even likely -- that the Chiefs have their playoff spot clinched before they even line up to play the Raiders today.

There are three ways the Chiefs can clinch a playoff spot this weekend:

1. Chiefs beat Raiders

2. Dolphins loss to Patriots

3. Ravens loss to Lions (Monday Night Football)

Here's the thing though. The Dolphins and Patriots play at 12 p.m. (Arrowhead Time). Their game will likely be over or almost over when the Chiefs kick off against Oakland. So the Chiefs could potentially seal their playoff fate before they even play today. The Dolphins are2-point favorites over the Patriots.

If the Dolphins beat the Patriots then the Chiefs can still clinch by beating the Raiders. If that doesn't happen, the Chiefs have another shot at clinching on Monday night when the Ravens play the Lions. A Baltimore loss sends Kansas City to the playoffs.

But back to today. If the Patriots do beat the Dolphins, clinching a playoff spot for the Chiefs, it brings into question how Andy Reid will call this game. I don't buy the idea that Andy Reid will change anything or play back-ups or anything like that. The Chiefs are a tiebreaker away from topping the Broncos and winning the AFC West so there is plenty left to play for.