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NFL playoff picture update: Chiefs hold onto first place this week, at least

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The Chiefs own the tiebreaker in the AFC West and remain in first place, which means they are still slotted for the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs.

This week’s NFL playoff picture updates are coming in. The Steelers play the Bengals tonight so this could change a little bit but it won’t affect the Chiefs this week.

As of today, the Chiefs are in the playoffs. They are in a three-way tie in the AFC West along with the 6-6 Raiders and Chargers. There is no head to head tiebreaker here because one of these teams hasn’t swept the other.

So, you go to the next tiebreaker which is record in division games. The Chargers and Raiders are both 2-2 against the AFC West while the Chiefs are 2-1. The Chiefs win the tiebreaker this week so they’re in the playoffs today.

Of course, the playoffs don’t start today. The Chiefs still play the Chargers and Raiders at home. The Chiefs control their own destiny. Winning every game down the stretch would be ideal. Beating the Chargers and Raiders is really important.

The Raiders have tough sledding ahead: at Chiefs, Cowboys, at Eagles, at Chargers.

The Chargers schedule is easier: Redskins, at Chiefs, at Jets, Raiders.

The Chiefs schedule is easiest: Raiders, Dolphins, Chargers, at Broncos.

I like the Chiefs based on the strength of each team’s schedule. That’s a tough thing to say when you just lost to both New York teams who are both awful. So, on paper, sure the Chiefs should still win this thing. But “on paper” doesn’t mean anything with this team anymore.

Over in the NFC, things are going much better. They actually have more than one or two good teams over there. Even down to the sixth and final seed in the NFC, that conference is strong.

The Chiefs played the Eagles so we know they’re really good. They have all the ingredients to make a run in the playoffs. I haven’t seen the Vikings play enough to tell you whether they’re for real but my gut tells me Case Keenum is not winning a Super Bowl and they’re exposed in January.

The Rams and Saints both look like teams that could make serious runs in the NFC. Right when I thought the Saints were too old and going to have a long rebuilding process, they put up a season like this.

AFC playoff picture

1. Patriots (10-2)

2. Steelers (9-2)

3. Titans (8-4)

4. Chiefs (6-6)

5. Jaguars (8-4)

6. Ravens (7-5)

NFC playoff picture

1. Vikings (10-2)

2. Eagles (10-2)

3. Rams (9-3)

4. Saints (9-3)

5. Seahawks (8-4)

6. Panthers (8-4)