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NFL Playoff Picture: Scenarios For Chiefs, Chargers To Get In

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The Chiefs hold a one-game lead over the Chargers with three more to play. What are the playoff scenarios for each team?

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The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday and they didn't just lose. They were destroyed. Embarrassed. Beat up. Shut out, 31-0. A lot of things went wrong. We know they did.

How does all of this affect the Chiefs playoff chances? This game hurt and it didn't hurt, if that makes any sense. The Chiefs are currently 8-5 and holding onto first place in the division while the Chargers are knocking on the door at 7-6 and the Raiders are at 6-7. So this game didn't hurt in that KC still controls their own destiny.

The easiest way for the Chiefs to win the division is simply to head to St. Louis next week and beat the Rams, then win home games against the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders. That's a guaranteed way to win the division and host a home playoff game. But as we've learned this year with the Chiefs, they like to keep things interesting. So what if the Chiefs lose one game? The Chargers, if they win the final three games, would win the division. The Chiefs would either lose the division record or common opponent record tiebreaker if they lost.

The Chargers remaining schedule looks very easy and that was what we heard throughout the day from the CBS crew as the Chargers beat the Chiefs up and down the field. I agree that, on paper, their schedule seems easy. They host the San Francisco 49ers and then go on the road to play the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos. I agree that those teams are all very beatable but going on the road and winning -- no matter who it is -- is not easy. Plus, we're expecting a team that was once 6-6 to win their final four games of the season? It's possible but it's very possible this team loses.

The Oakland Raiders are still involved as they're two games behind the Chiefs with three games to play. They could potentially run the table and hope the Chargers and Raiders Chiefs lose. The point is they need lots of help. But they do play the Chiefs in Week 17. The Raiders final schedule includes the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and Chiefs.

How the Chiefs can get in

It's simple -- win all three and you're in.

Lose one and you become vulnerable. The rest of the world seems confident that the Chargers will run the table and I'm just not that confident that they will. My gut tells me KC can screw up one more time down the road and still get in. The Chargers

How the Chargers can get in

This isn't so simple. They need some help. Win all three, of course, is where you start. They need the Chiefs to lose one game and then San Diego would hold the tiebreaker. So they're at the door knocking right now.