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NFL playoff scenarios: How the Chiefs can clinch a playoff spot in Week 16

I can't believe I'm about to write a story about the Kansas City Chiefs clinching a playoff spot in Week 16. I mean, it's just unbelievable but here we go ...

The Chiefs can clinch a playoff spot next week by beating the Browns and getting a loss from either the New York Jets or the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Chiefs need to beat out just one of them to secure one of the two AFC Wild Card spots. They own the head to head tiebreaker over the Steelers so they would clinch with a Chiefs win and a Steelers loss to the Ravens in Baltimore next week. Even if the Chiefs lost in Week 17 in this scenario, the best the Steelers could do is tie the Chiefs and the Chiefs would own the tiebreaker. The Steelers are a 10.5-point favorite over the Ravens next week.

The Jets play the Patriots this week. A Chiefs win and a Jets loss would secure a playoff spot for the Chiefs. The Chiefs haven't played the Jets this year so the head to head tiebreaker would not be applicable. Instead it would go to the best record in AFC games. The Chiefs are 8-2 in the AFC while the Jets are 6-4 so the Chiefs would own that tiebreaker with a Jets loss to the Patriots and a Chiefs win. The Patriots are a 3-point favorite over the Jets.

The Chiefs aspirations may be bigger than just the Wild Card. If they win out and the Broncos lose to either the Bengals or Chargers in the final two weeks, the Chiefs would win the AFC West and likely be the No. 3 seed. If the Chiefs lose and the Broncos win next week, the Broncos would clinch the AFC West.

AFC playoff picture

1. New England Patriots (12-2, 9-1)

2. Cincinnati Bengals (11-3, 8-2)

3. Denver Broncos (10-4, 6-4)

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

5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5, 8-2)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5, 6-4)

Everyone else

7. New York Jets (9-5, 6-4)

8. Oakland Raiders (6-8, 6-4)

9. Buffalo Bills (6-8, 6-5)

10. Indianapolis Colts (6-8, 4-6)

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