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NFL playoff picture: Chiefs could help make AFC Wild Card scenarios interesting

The Kansas City Chiefs actually have a shot at the playoffs. Five Thirty Eight puts those odds at 27 percent the Chiefs make the playoffs. Considering there was a 1-5 start to the season, that's surprising that the Chiefs are still alive. Yet here they are.

Who's in today

Here is the AFC playoff picture as it stands today:

1. Cincinnati Bengals (8-0, 7-0 AFC)
2. New England Patriots (8-0, 6-0 AFC)
3. Denver Broncos (7-1)
4. Indianapolis Colts (4-4)
5. New York Jets (5-3)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)

The AFC is so top heavy this year. Three of the best teams in the league are at the top. You can just forget about the top four teams because those are all division winners and the Chiefs are not going to win the division. The Chiefs are competing for one of the final two spots. They are two games behind the Jets with eight to play and one game a game and a half behind the Steelers. The Chiefs also hold the head to head tiebreaker over the Steelers.

The rest of the AFC contenders

T7. Buffalo Bills (4-4, 4-3 AFC)
T7. Oakland Raiders (4-4, 4-3 AFC)
9. Kansas City Chiefs (3-5, 2-2 AFC)
10. Miami Dolphins (3-5, 2-5 AFC, head-to-head win over HOU)
11. Houston Texans (3-5, 2-3 AFC, head-to-head loss to MIA)
T12. Baltimore Ravens (2-6, 2-4 AFC)
T12. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6, 2-4 AFC)
14. San Diego Chargers (2-6, 1-4 AFC)
15. Tennessee Titans (2-6, 0-5 AFC)
16. Cleveland Browns (2-7)

Here are the tiebreaker procedures for those wondering.

Here's what's exciting about this: the Chiefs play three games against two of the teams ahead of them in the AFC Wild Card race in the Raiders (twice) and the Bills (once). The Chiefs will probably have to go at least 5-3 down the stretch to finish 8-8. More likely though, they'll need to go 6-2 the rest of the day and finish 9-7. Neither of those will guarantee the Chiefs a playoff spot but they're likely in the conversation with eight or nine wins.

To break a tie for the Wild Card, the head to head record is used first. If not that then it moves to the record within the AFC. The Chiefs have the fewest AFC losses at the moment.

Chiefs 2015 schedule

The big issue here is more about the Chiefs than their opponents. Can the Chiefs win five out of their next eight games? The 1-5 start exposed some serious flaws with this team but the defense has started to come around in the last month. I can sit here and make a case for the Chiefs to beat all of these teams but once you step back it's hard to seeing a team capable of starting 1-5 also winning eight of their final 10 games to end the season.

Here's the schedule the Chiefs are up against the rest of the year:

Week 10: @ Denver Broncos (Nov. 15, 3:25 p.m., CBS)
Week 11: @ San Diego Chargers (Nov. 22, 3:05 p.m., CBS)
Week 12: Buffalo Bills (Nov. 29, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 13: @ Oakland Raiders (Dec. 6, 3:05 p.m., CBS)
Week 14: San Diego Chargers (Dec. 13, 12 p.m, CBS)
Week 15: @ Baltimore Ravens (Dec. 20, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 16: Cleveland Browns (Dec. 27, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 17: Oakland Raiders (Jan. 3, 12 p.m., CBS)

H/T Buffalo Rumblings for compiling the standings

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