It was just a few days ago we were looking at the Kansas City Chiefs very slim hopes of making the playoffs for the second straight season. After all, only three teams have made the playoffs after starting out 4-7 since 1990.
The Chiefs 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears paired with the Oakland Raiders embarrassing 34-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday have helped to pave a very clear path to the playoffs for Kansas City. I know you want to, but don’t scoff.
With four games remaining, the Raiders and Denver Broncos are tied atop the AFC West with a two-game lead over the Chiefs. Luckily for Kansas City, their final two games are against the Raiders and Broncos, respectively. That means all the Chiefs have to do is pick up one more game on both teams to put themselves in the playoffs.
The Broncos still have to play the New England Patriots, while the Raiders get to take on the undefeated Green Bay Packers on the road. Assuming those games go according to plan and the Chiefs take out the New York Jets this week and finish the season with wins over the Broncos and Raiders — throw in a loss to the Packers in between for good measure — and the Chiefs walk right back into the playoffs.
“But that’s a three-way tie!” I hear you screaming.
Correct, all three teams would be tied at 8-8. The NFL has 12 tiebreakers when there is a tie within a division between three teams, but the Chiefs would only need the first: the best won-lost-tied percentage in games between those clubs. In the above scenario the Chiefs would come out on top with a 3-1 record compared to 2-2 for the Broncos and 1-3 for the Raiders.
Back-to-back division champions? Not as crazy as some people assume.