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Chiefs will have to beat Chargers in Week 17, no matter what

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The Chargers can win or lose this weekend, but it will have no bearing on the Chiefs playoff chances.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Those still waiting to punch their playoff ticket in the AFC West have a laserlike focus at this point in the season.

Both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers are still alive for the postseason, and both of them must win out to even have a chance to play in January. For KC, it's a win and in scenario. For the Chargers, they need a bit of help from other teams in contention. But for those hoping for the Chargers to lose this weekend, other than watching a rival fall, it has zero bearing on the Chiefs playoff chances.

Even if the Chargers lose against the San Francisco 49ers and the Chiefs win this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it won't matter. Week 17 will still stand as a must-win for Kansas City. The Chargers are not the team in the way of the Chiefs at this point.

It will be interesting if every AFC West team wins this week (the ones that matter anyway), since it will set up a win-and-in scenario in Week 17 between KC and SD. If the Broncos defeat the Bengals, then it puts both AFC West rivals in position to claim their spot. That makes for some great football in the final week of the season (and a completely different game than last year when the Chiefs sent in the b-team in the final week of the regular season).

Really for the Chiefs (and for Chiefs fans), it doesn't matter who else wins or loses from here on out. The Chiefs must win and nothing else matters (hope you heard that phrase with a James Hetfield growl).*

*Metallica joke