Chiefs Playoff Picture: Analyzing the Latest Outlook for Kansas City

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Chiefs Playoff Picture: Analyzing the Latest Outlook for Kansas City
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The Kansas City Chiefs currently sit atop the NFL with a 9-0 record. This would place the Chiefs currently in the number one seed for the NFL playoffs, with home-field advantage throughout. Kansas City has a bye going into Week 10, which should allow them to rest and focus on the big game looming for them in Week 11, against the Denver Broncos in Denver.

The Broncos currently sit at 7-1, and the game between Kansas City and Denver could be the difference between the top seed in the AFC and the fifth seed.

Since the division winners are guaranteed the top four seeds in the playoffs, and the Chiefs and Broncos reside in the same division, one of the two of them is guaranteed no higher than a fifth seed. The Broncos could wind up with the second-best record in the AFC and still be seeded fifth.

 

The Playoff Odds

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

History seems to bode well for the Chiefs. Not counting this year's teams, in the modern Super Bowl era 18 teams have started a season 9-0, and all 18 made the playoffs that respective year. Of those 18 teams, 11 went on to play in the Super Bowl.  

For those of you keeping score at home that's 61 percent of all NFL teams making it to the Super Bowl after starting their season 9-0.  Of the 11 teams that made the Super Bowl, seven went on to win the whole thing.  

 

The Playoff Picture

Seed Team Wins Losses Points Scored Points Against
1 Kansas City Chiefs 9 0 215 111
2 New England Patriots 7 2 234 175
3 Indianapolis Colts 6 2 214 155
4 Cincinnati Bengals 6 3 217 166
5 Denver Broncos 7 1 343 218
6 New York Jets 5 4 169 231
X Tennessee Titans 4 4 173 167
X Miami Dolphins 4 4 174 187
X San Diego Chargers 4 4 192 174

If the season were to end today, the Chiefs would finish with the top seed and a first-round bye along with the New England Patriots. The Colts would get the New York Jets at Indianapolis, and the Denver Broncos would travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals.

The top seed, however, has been somewhat unlucky for AFC teams over the years. Since 1975, of the 37 AFC Super Bowl participants only 19 (51.3 percent) were number one seeds. Of those 19, only six (16.2 percent) managed a Super Bowl win. The last was a decade ago when the New England Patriots did it in 2003.

 

The Remaining Schedule

The Chiefs have a fairly difficult back half of their schedule remaining. They have two dates against the Denver Broncos, a game at home against Indianapolis and back-to-back road trips to opposite sides of the country in Washington and the Oakland Raiders.

 

Week Day Date Time Opponent Opponent Record
11 Sunday 17 November 8:30 PM EST at Denver Broncos 7-1
12 Sunday 24 November 1:00 PM EST San Diego Chargers 4-4
13 Sunday 01 December 1:00 PM EST Denver Broncos 7-1
14 Sunday 08 December 1:00 PM EST at Washington 3-5
15 Sunday 15 December 4:05 PM EST at Oakland Raiders 3-5
16 Sunday 22 December 1:00 PM EST Indianapolis Colts 6-2
17 Sunday 29 December 4:25 PM EST at San Diego Chargers 4-4

While the schedule is certainly navigable for the Chiefs, it provides a slightly more daunting challenge than the first half of the season. A first-half schedule which saw Kansas City take on only one team currently sitting above .500, the Dallas Cowboys.

Overall, the things look to be going pretty well for Kansas City. If the Chiefs only split their remaining games, they will still finish either 12-4 or 13-3, certainly well ahead of the two-win season they cobbled together last season.

The Chiefs are all but a lock for the playoffs, and if they can fend off the Broncos figure to have home-field advantage for a least one playoff game.

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