clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL playoff picture: Chiefs, Steelers feeling the pressure after Jets beat Cowboys

The New York Jets beat the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night so the AFC playoff picture sees a change before the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15.

The Chiefs previously had the fifth playoff spot but the Jets won means New York now has the fifth spot and the Chiefs are in the sixth spot. KC has a better AFC record than the Jets so they would likely win the tiebreaker with them depending on how the Chiefs do against their final three AFC teams.

Bottom line is that a win by the Chiefs on Sunday means they are back in the fifth seed. A loss by the Chiefs means they might need some help down the stretch. The key for the Chiefs is that they own the head to head tiebreaker over the Steelers, Raiders (for now), Bills and Texans. They would likely own the AFC tiebreaker over the Jets should it come to that. You can find tiebreaker info here.

There is still a not-that-crazy scenario where the Chiefs could win the AFC West. If the Chiefs win out and the Broncos lose two of their final three games (at Steelers, Bengals, Chargers), the Chiefs would likely own the tiebreaker within the division over the Broncos. With Brock Osweiler playing, it's not that crazy to think Denver could lose two of their final three.

Who to root for

Chiefs over Ravens: None of what we're talking about matters unless the Chiefs keep winning.

Texans over Colts: If the Chiefs end up with the No. 5 seed they would visit the AFC South winner, which will likely be the Texans or Colts. I think I'd rather visit Houston than Indy.

Steelers over Broncos: Here's where we might disagree. If you just want to focus on the Chiefs earning a playoff spot then you might be rooting for the Broncos to beat the Steelers, who are a threat in the AFC Wild Card. If you want to focus on the Chiefs winning the AFC West, you're rooting for Denver to lose. I think the Chiefs are still alive in the AFC West so I want the Broncos to lose this game.

AFC playoff picture

(Overall record, AFC record)

1. New England Patriots (11-2, 8-1)

2. Cincinnati Bengals (10-3, 8-2)

3. Denver Broncos (10-3, 6-3)

4. Indianapolis Colts (6-7, 4-5)

5. New York Jets (9-5, 6-4)

6. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5, 7-2)

In the hunt

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5, 5-4)

8. Oakland Raiders (6-7, 6-4)

9. Buffalo Bills (6-7, 6-5)

10. Houston Texans (6-7, 4-5)

11. Miami Dolphins (5-7, 3-6)

Chiefs remaining schedule

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)