Chiefs clinch playoff spot, but seed up in the air

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs locked up a playoff berth with Pittsburgh’s 31-27 win over Baltimore, but Kansas City’s 33-10 rout of Denver kept open the door to winning the AFC West and securing the No. 2 seed in the conference along with a first-round bye.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West fights for yardage in the team's 33-10 win over the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium Dec. 25, 2016. (Photo by Mike Gunnoe/The Topeka-Capital Journal)

Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West fights for yardage in the team’s 33-10 win over the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium Dec. 25, 2016. (Photo by Mike Gunnoe/The Topeka-Capital Journal)

“We got ourselves a Christmas present,” coach Andy Reid said.

If the season ended right now, the Chiefs stand as a wildcard team and the fifth seed in the playoffs. That would mean a trip to Houston to meet the fourth-seeded AFC South champion Texans.

A Kansas City win Sunday at San Diego and a Denver win at home against Oakland makes the Chiefs AFC West champions. That means a first-round bye and a home game in the divisional round against the best seed remaining among the wild-card winners.

The Chiefs could fall to the sixth seed with a loss at San Diego and a Miami win at home against the New England Patriots. That scenario leaves the Chiefs and Dolphins tied at 11-5 with identical 8-4 conference record.

But the Dolphins own wins over Pittsburgh and San Diego along with two wins over the New York Jets. A loss against the Titans gives the Dolphins a 4-1 record in common games. The Chiefs, with a loss to the Chargers, would have a 2-3 record against the same teams.

The sixth seed would travel to Pittsburgh for the wildcard round.

Rookie Tyreek Hill said the playoff bid is nice, but the Chiefs want the No. 2 seed.

“It feels great but we’re going for the No. 2 seed for our bodies,”  We just need to keep fighting and keep winning and we’ll be straight.”

Defensive tackle Dontari Poe said the team has unfinished business in the postseason.

“We are in the dance now, and we have some stuff to do when we get there so keep working,” Poe said.

The Dolphins host the Patriots at noon Sunday, which gives the Chiefs some idea of their wildcard possibilities. The Chiefs and Chargers along with the Raiders and Broncos kickoff at 3 p.m.

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.


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