The Kansas City Chiefs won their fifth game in a row in Week 12 after defeating the Los Angeles Rams 26-10.
That means the Chiefs remain in first place in both the AFC West and the AFC. Here’s how the playoff picture for the AFC looks after Week 12:
AFC standings after Week 12
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) [AFC West leader]
2. Miami Dolphins (8-3) [AFC East leader]
3. Tennessee Titans (7-4) [AFC South leader]
4. Baltimore Ravens (7-4) [AFC North leader]
5. Buffalo Bills (8-3) [wild card]
6. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) [wild card]
7. New York Jets (7-4) [wild card]
In the hunt
8. New England Patriots (6-5)
9. Los Angeles Chargers (6-5)
10. Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1) — playing on MNF in Week 12
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)
12. Las Vegas Raiders (4-7)
13. Cleveland Browns (4-7)
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7) — playing on MNF in Week 12
15. Denver Broncos (3-8)
16. Houston Texans (1-9-1)
If the playoffs started today, the Chiefs would have a bye in the wild-card round thanks to holding the No. 1 seed.
Kansas City needs to stay one game up on the rest of the conference to hang on to that No. 1 spot because tiebreakers could technically knock the Chiefs down in the standings. How so? Let’s look at the current tiebreakers if the Chiefs were, hypothetically, tied with other AFC teams who are one game behind them:
The Chiefs and Dolphins haven’t played (and won’t play) each other this regular season but the Dolphins have the better conference record at 6-2 to the Chiefs’ 5-2. That means the Dolphins currently hold a tiebreaker over the Chiefs. That could change as the season progresses — the Chiefs still have five AFC opponents left on their schedule while Miami has four.
The Chiefs lost to the Bills in Week 6, so the Bills will hold a tiebreaker over the Chiefs for the rest of the season.
Keep in mind that if the Bills finish second in the AFC East (or any potential tying team finishes second or lower in their division) and the Chiefs win the AFC West, a tiebreaker would not matter since the Chiefs would be entering the playoffs as a division winner while the other team would enter the playoffs as a wild-card team.
Long story short: If you’re a Chiefs fan, root extra hard against the Dolphins and Bills.
What's the playoff seeding tiebreaker?
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The playoff tiebreaking procedure is:
Head-to-head record, if applicable.
Best conference win-loss record.
Best common games win-loss record (minimum of four).
Strength of victory.
Strength of schedule.
Best combined points scored and points allowed ranking within the conference.
Best combined points scored and points allowed ranking within the NFL.
Best net points conference games.
Best net points all games.
Best net touchdowns in all games.
A coin flip.
Who are the Chiefs' remaining opponents?
AP Photo/David Dermer
Sunday, Dec. 4
@ Cincinnati Bengals
3:25 p.m. CT on CBS
Sunday, Dec. 11
@ Denver Broncos (SNF)
7:20 p.m. CT on NBC
Sunday, Dec. 18
@ Houston Texans
Noon CT on CBS
Saturday, Dec. 24
vs. Seattle Seahawks
Noon CT on FOX
Sunday, Jan. 1
vs. Denver Broncos
Noon CT on CBS
Saturday / Sunday, Jan. 7 or 8
@ Las Vegas Raiders
TBD CT on TBD