What a day for the Chiefs.
Kansas City won on Sunday, and the leaders of the other three divisions in the AFC all lost. That means everything is setting up beautifully for the Chiefs to earn home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
But there’s one big game ahead: Thursday night, when the Chargers are in Kansas City. Lose that one, and the Chiefs are in danger of losing the division.
Here’s how the AFC playoff picture looks after Week 14:
1. Chiefs (11-2): Two more wins would earn the Chiefs home-field advantage, and let them rest in Week 17 regardless of what anyone else in the conference does.
2. Patriots (9-4): They’re still heavy favorites in the AFC East, but Sunday’s loss hurt them in the playoff seeding.
3. Texans (9-4): Still the clear division favorites, but missed a big opportunity to put the Colts away in the AFC South.
4. Steelers (7-5-1): A big loss today and a tough schedule ahead has the Steelers in trouble.
5. Chargers (10-3): Thursday night in Kansas City is their biggest game of the season.
6. Ravens (7-6): Despite today’s loss in Kansas City, they remain the top wild card team, and have a good chance of catching the Steelers in the division. The Ravens own the tiebreaker over Miami based on common games, and over Indianapolis based on AFC games.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Colts (7-6): Win the head-to-head tiebreaker over Miami and Tennessee.
8. Dolphins (7-6): Kept their playoff hopes alive with a tremendous final play.
9. Titans (7-6): Tiebreaker scenarios aren’t great for Tennessee.
10. Broncos (6-7): A loss to the 49ers probably ends their playoff hopes.
11. Browns (5-7-1): It may be too little too late, but give Cleveland credit for getting things in the right direction.
12. Bengals (5-8): Marvin Lewis can do no better than .500 this season.
13. Bills (4-9): After making the playoffs last year, they’re not even close this year.
14. Jaguars (4-9): From the AFC Championship Game to out of contention.
15. Jets (4-9): Todd Bowles’ guys are still playing hard, even though they won’t save his job.
16. Raiders (3-10): A huge upset over the Steelers.