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Chiefs are Playing Light-Switch in Dangerous AFC

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After 12, here is how the AFC sits:

  1. Steelers, 11-0
  2. Chiefs, 10-1
  3. Titans, 8-3
  4. Bills, 8-3
  5. Wild Card 1: Browns, 8-3
  6. Wild Card 2: Dolphins, 7-4
  7. Wild Card 3: Colts, 7-4

Pittsburgh is 11-0 and has the Football Team, Bills, Bengals, Colts, and Browns remaining. This is a 15-1 football team, 14-2 at worse. Historically, that’s enough to clinch the 1st seed and rest Week 17. Not this season.

Kansas City is just one game behind. For some reason I can’t figure out, according to ESPN’s Playoff Machine, the Chiefs have the tiebreaker over the Steelers in most scenarios.

But Kansas City is playing a dangerous weekly game of light-switch, turning it on and off. This season, it has gotten them only once, against the Raiders. But it will get them again. With the Dolphins, Saints, and sometimes-hot Falcons remaining — the Chiefs will lose at least one more game.

As talented as they are, the Chiefs cannot bank on winning out by playing well one and half quarters a game. Hopefully, their inevitable loss comes in the regular season, not in the lose-you-are-out playoffs.

I’d bet the season ends with the Steelers one game ahead of the Chiefs, avoiding a tiebreaker.

Buffalo is quietly doing really well. While its early-season loss to the Titans could determine seeding, the 3rd seed isn’t necessarily better than the 4th this season.

The AFC Wild Card race is a maze among the Browns, Dolphins, Colts/Titans, Raiders, and Ravens. Of the pack, Vegas is the team to fear. At 6-5, the Raiders are more likely to enter as the 7th seed to face the 2nd seed. Chiefs-Raiders, part III. Who says no?

Miami has the fifth toughest remaining schedule. Baltimore has the easiest. A swap is plausible, though the Dolphins are currently the better team.

All five teams should end up around 10-6 or 11-5, creating confusion so frustrating that fan bases will question tie-breaking legitimacy.

*Here is OutKick’s NFC breakdown.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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