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NFL Playoff Picture: Jets-Patriots, Steelers-Ravens Could Affect KC Chiefs

What's the NFL playoff picture looking like? The Patriots-Jets and Steelers-Ravens games could affect the Chiefs.

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The Kansas City Chiefs are 8-4 and two games up on everyone in the AFC West. In fact, no other division leader has as big of a lead over second place as the Chiefs do. Looking at the NFL playoff picture, the Chiefs would more than likely have to win the division to land a playoff spot.

As of now, there are four teams that, in my mind, are separating themselves from the pack. The New England Patriots and New York Jets will play on Monday Night Football and they both sit at 9-2. While that's going to be a great game, it won't change a whole lot in the AFC playoff picture as both teams will likely make the playoffs. The winner of that game is probably looking at the No. 1 seed in the playoffs while the loser could hold onto the top wildcard spot.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens played on Sunday Night Football and their game could have a slight impact on the Chiefs, but it's unlikely. The Steelers moved to 9-3 and they're now in the driver's seat in the AFC North. The Ravens, at 8-4, are the favorite to lock up a wildcard spot along with the Jets. If KC doesn't win the division, they'd be going up against the Ravens for the wildcard spot. But if KC doesn't win the division, that means two more losses and it would likely knock them out of contention from the wildcard.

The Chiefs can eliminate the San Diego Chargers next week with a victory. It would put them three games ahead of the Chargers with three left to play and they would control the tiebreaker. KC can't, however, wrap up the division next week, even with an Oakland loss. If the Raiders lose, they would be three games behind the Chiefs with three left to play.

So let's look at a few playoff scenarios. Let's say the Patriots beat the Jets on MNF and go on to lock up the No. 1 seed. The Steelers would likely secure the No. 2 seed and KC has the inside track to landing the No. 3 seed while the Jacksonville Jaguars or Indianapolis Colts are looking at the fourth seed. The Jets could land the No. 5 seed as the top wildcard and the Ravens would be the last ones in. That would give the Chiefs a first round home playoff game against the Ravens.

The Chiefs control their own destiny and they're sitting in a really good spot right now. A victory over the Chargers next week would all but lock up the division, barring a complete meltdown by KC in the final three weeks.