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NFL Playoff Picture: Scenarios in Which the Kansas City Chiefs Make the Playoffs

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 18:   Tamba Hall #91 and Kendrick Lewis #23 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate after a win against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Kansas CIty, Missouri.  The Chiefs defeated the Packers 19-14.   (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Josh FriesenContributor IIIDecember 19, 2011

Knocking off the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers might be the highlight of the 2011 season for the Kansas City Chiefs. However, yet another highlight could reveal itself in two weeks: The Chiefs still have a chance of making the playoffs. 

And they don't need as much help as many people might think.

Even though there is no scenario in which Kansas City earns a wild-card spot—since the Jets own the tiebreaker over the Chiefs—they still have a legitimate shot at winning the division.

The next week of NFL action could very well determine who is in and who is out. 

First thing's first: The Chiefs must win out.

Next week, Kansas City will host Oakland, who has been struggling as of late. They were blown out by the Packers in Week 14 and lost this week in a very close game against Detroit. 

Also, a reeling Denver team will pay a visit to Buffalo. If Denver wins, they eliminate Kansas City from playoff contention. However, if they lose, this will open yet another door for the Chiefs. 

Another key element that needs to happen: The Chiefs need San Diego to lose at least one game. San Diego visits a hot Detroit team that controls their own destiny. Both teams have found their strides, and you can bet the Lions will be playing hard to fight for a playoff spot.

San Diego visits Oakland in Week 17. If the Chargers win both games, they will eliminate Kansas City. 

To put simply: if Denver loses to Buffalo and San Diego loses to Detroit in Week 16, Kansas City controls their own destiny. It's not impossible, and crazier things have happened.

The Kansas City Chiefs still have a lot to play for. 

The race in the AFC West is in full swing, and it's not a stretch to say that any of the four teams will emerge from this scrum on top. Be prepared for a thrilling and close finish. 

 

Don't agree with me? Think I missed something? Check for yourself with ESPN.com's NFL Playoff Machine.

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