The Kansas City Chiefs have already locked up an NFL playoff spot, but they are still fighting for positioning in the NFC postseason picture. Heading into Week 15, the Chiefs are the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Kansas City leads the AFC West, but a loss to the Chargers would tie them with Los Angeles.
It would also put them in danger of missing out on a first-round bye along with home-field advantage. The second place team in the AFC West is likely going to get the short end of the stick. Since the division winners automatically get the top four seeds in each conference, there is a good chance that either the Chargers or Chiefs will be playing on the road during Wild Card weekend despite having a better record than their opponent.
The good news for the Chiefs is that a win over the Chargers would put them one step closer to locking up home field. According to 247 Sports, the Chiefs can clinch home-field advantage (i.e. one of the top two AFC seeds) with a win over the Chargers along with a Patriots loss to the Steelers.
If the Chiefs can secure one of the top two seeds, they would get a first-round bye then face either the team with the worst record or second worst record in the AFC playoffs. The NFL reseeds after the Wild Card round allowing the team with the best record to face the worst team in the playoffs.
If the current seeds hold, the Chiefs would either face the winner of the Vikings-Bears or Seahawks-Cowboys games. As the No. 1 or No. 2 seed, Kansas City’s first playoff game would either be on January 12 or 13 if they are able to clinch one of the top two NFC seeds.
A Win Over the Chargers Gives the Chiefs a Good Chance to Secure the No. 1 or No. 2 Seed in the AFC
The Chiefs hold one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, so securing the No. 1 or No. 2 seed is significant. Former Eagles president Joe Banner worked with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during his tenure with the Eagles. Banner believes this is Reid’s best chance he has had to win a Super Bowl.
“From the outside, I view this as the best team he’s had,” Banner explained to ESPN. “Clearly, it’s the most fun and exciting team. I talk to him sometimes and watch him coach. He seems to be having a lot of fun. He really loves offensive football. He loves being able to be progressive and aggressive and innovative and he’s got every tool he could possibly look for to do anything he could possibly want to do. That’s got to be a lot of fun.”
In his first full season as an NFL starting quarterback, Patrick Mahomes looks anything but inexperienced. The level of play jumps up a notch in the postseason and it will be interesting to see how Mahomes handles the big stage. If the regular season is any indication, the Chiefs quarterback will be just fine.
The Chiefs head to Seattle for a difficult Week 16 matchup then close out the season at home against the Raiders in Week 17.