The Chiefs will be No. 1 in the AFC if...

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(WIBW) -- Unfortunately, Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks happened.

Fortunately, Kansas City can still clinch the number one overall spot in the AFC with a win on Sunday against division-rival Oakland at Arrowhead.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Chiefs have a 93 percent chance of winning the AFC West and a 90 percent chance of nabbing a first-round bye.

Here's how that could--or could not--happen:


If Kansas City beats Oakland in the regular-season finale on Sunday, the Chiefs secure the top overall spot in the AFC, meaning the road to the Super Bowl runs through Arrowhead.

This result is certain no matter the outcome of any other game. Kansas City would secure home-field advantage, a first-round bye and a third-straight AFC West title.


If Kansas City loses to Oakland on Sunday, there are multiple scenarios which could play out.

The first and top priority is the AFC West.

Both the Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers sit at 11-4 after Week 16 losses. For LA to swap positions with Kansas City, the Chargers have to win and the Chiefs have to lose. KC holds the tiebreaker if both teams win or both teams lose.


As mentioned, in this scenario, Kansas City will win the AFC West.

But that is less than ideal, because a loss for Kansas City could push the team out of first place if New England (10-5) or Houston (10-5) wins.

If Kansas City loses and New England wins, the Patriots will take the first overall spot in the AFC due to head-to-head records. The Chiefs could still claim a first-round bye as the two-seed, but that result relies on the outcome of Houston's matchup with Jacksonville.

If Kansas City loses and Houston wins, this situation gets tricky, and defaults to the NFL's wild card tiebreaking procedures.

1. Head-to-Head

Kansas City and Houston did not play each other in the regular season.

2. Best percentage in AFC

Houston sits at 8-3 while Kansas City sits at 9-2. For this scenario, KC loses and drops to 9-3 while Houston wins and jumps to tie at 9-3.

3. Best percentage in common games

Based on these two teams schedules, they have four common opponents: New England, Denver, Jacksonville and Cleveland.

The Chiefs are 4-1 against these teams in five games. The Texans are 3-1 against these teams in four games, and their week 17 matchup is against Jacksonville. For this scenario to exist, Houston would have won that matchup, and these two teams tie again here.

4. Strength of victory

Strength of victory is figured by calculating the combined winning percentage of the opponents a team has beaten.

So, whip out those calculators... after the regular season ends when each team's record is solidified.

Hypothetically, if the season were to end at week 16, Houston (.457) would edge Kansas City (.424) in strength of victory--though a lot can change in one week.


Kansas City has clinched a playoff berth no matter the outcome of week 17. Actually, four of six AFC teams have clinched a playoff berth.

The trouble is where they will land.

So based on these revelations and the outcome of this weekend, KC could end up as four different seeds in the AFC playoff picture: first wild card, No. 3 overall, No. 2 overall or No. 1 overall.