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NFL playoff picture: Chiefs fans still believe in AFC Wild Card, and these odds show it's not *that* crazy

The Kansas City Chiefs actually do have a shot at the playoffs, and it's not ridiculous to think about right now. I know, they're 3-5. Most years you're not even sniffing the playoffs at 3-5. But this year. the AFC is really weak. The Chiefs won't be winning the AFC West but the Wild Card remains in play. Five Thirty Eight puts the Chiefs playoff chances at 29 percent. That seems high. Doesn't that seem high? It's a little high. Or maybe not...

The top AFC Wild Card team as of the halfway point in the season appears to be the 4-4 Steelers, who the Chiefs already beat. The Raiders are also right there and the Chiefs will play them twice this season. If - big if - things go the Chiefs way, they're going to make this thing competitive late into the season.

However, at 3-5 the Chiefs can't afford more than two losses. And even two losses could do them in with the wrong tiebreakers against them.

Chiefs fans absolutely still believe. We asked fans after the Steelers game how many of the Chiefs remaining eight games they would win. Six more wins would put the Chiefs at 9-7 on the season, something more than half of the 4,200 fans we polled think they can do. An 8-8 Wild Card team does seem like an actual possibility this year but nine wins is probably what the Chiefs are looking at to qualify for the postseason.

Maybe 29 percent isn't too high for the Chiefs. I broke down the AFC Wild Card race below and as you can see there is a not-totally-crazy path to the playoffs if the Chiefs win five or six more games, which is admittedly a tall task given the 1-5 start. But if you believe the Chiefs are a better team than they showed in the first six weeks, then this playoff breakdown isn't completely unreasonable.

Sure thing

Patriots (99 percent)

Broncos (99 percent)

Bengals (99 percent)

No question about these three. They're all unbeaten right now and they're all going to the playoffs. It would take a hell of a fall for them not to win their divisions. Count them all in as division winners.

AFC South

Colts (55 percent)

Texans (32 percent)

Jaguars (13 percent)

Pencil the Colts in here. The Chiefs hold the tiebreaker over the 3-5 Texans and LOL there's no way the Jaguars are making the playoffs.

AFC Wild Card

Steelers (48 percent)

Jets (46 percent)

Chiefs (29 percent)

Raiders (24 percent)

Bills (21 percent)

Dolphins (17 percent)

The Chiefs hold the tiebreaker over the Texans and Steelers and will play the Raiders twice and then the Bills. The Steelers get Ben Roethlisberger back for the rest of the year so they should be much better. They're the obvious favorite to snag one of these spots. The Jets are 4-3 but they are also playing meaningful games while some are wondering if Bryce Petty should be playing quarterback with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith recently banged up. Still, Todd Bowles has done a good job with the Jets. They're a tough out. I'm really surprised to see the Raiders playoff percentage so low. They seem legit to me, and the Chiefs still play them twice. With five losses already, just one Chiefs loss to the Raiders would put a serious dent in the Chiefs playoff hopes.

Of course, all of this is contingent on the Chiefs winning 5-6 games down the stretch. The odds are probably against that happening but I'll be happy to see how far they can take it.

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