The NFL playoff picture is starting to take shape, and there is a tight battle for the AFC West. Both the Chiefs and Chargers have a chance to win the division. There is a lot at stake since there is a big difference between winning the division versus coming in second.
The Chargers comeback win over the Chiefs means the two teams are tied atop the AFC West. Kansas City currently holds the tiebreaker with two games remaining in the regular season for both squads.
The winner of the AFC West will likely have a first-round bye and home-field advantage for at least the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The second place team in the division will likely have to play on the road during Wild Card weekend, despite there being a good chance they will have a better record than their opponent. The NFL rules stipulate that the top four seeds in each conference go to the division winners.
Heading into their Week 15 clash, Football Outsiders gives the Chiefs a 92 percent chance of winning the division, while the Chargers have just an eight percent chance.
If the Chargers are able to pull off the upset on the road, Los Angeles would have a much better chance to come away with the division title. Heading into Week 15, Football Outsiders’ projections give the Chiefs an 88.3 percent chance to get the No. 1 seed and the Chargers an 88.9 percent chance of securing the No. 5 seed.
If the playoffs started today, the Chiefs would have the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye, while the Chargers would go on the road to play the Steelers in the opening round of the playoffs.
Nine of the 12 playoff spots are up for grabs heading into Week 15. The Chiefs are the only team in the AFC that have secured a playoff spot. In the NFC, the Saints and Rams have locked up postseason births.
Here’s a look at the current NFL playoff standings. Teams listed in bold have clinched a playoff spot, while those in italics have also secured their division.
AFC West Standings
|Kansas City Chiefs||11||3||0|
|Los Angeles Chargers||11||3||0|
AFC Playoff Standings
|1. Kansas City Chiefs||11||2||0|
|2. New England Patriots||9||4||0|
|3. Houston Texans||9||4||0|
|4. Pittsburgh Steelers||7||5||1|
|5. L.A. Chargers||10||3||0|
|6. Baltimore Ravens||7||6||0|
|7. Indianapolis Colts||7||6||0|
|8. Miami Dolphins||7||6||0|
|9. Tennessee Titans||7||6||0|
|10. Denver Broncos||6||7||0|
|11. Cleveland Browns||5||7||1|
|12. Cincinnati Bengals||5||8||0|
|13. Buffalo Bills||4||9||0|
|14. New York Jets||4||9||0|
|15. Jacksonville Jaguars||3||10||0|
|16. Oakland Raiders||3||10||0|
AFC Playoff Matchups Based on Current Standings
No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (Bye)
No. 2 New England Patriots (Bye)
No. 6 Baltimore Ravens vs. No. 3 Houston Texans
No. 5 L.A. Chargers vs. No. 4 Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC Playoff Standings
|1. New Orleans Saints||11||2||0|
|2. L.A. Rams||11||2||0|
|3. Chicago Bears||9||4||0|
|4. Dallas Cowboys||8||5||0|
|5. Seattle Seahawks||8||5||0|
|6. Minnesota Vikings||6||6||1|
|7. Carolina Panthers||6||7||0|
|8. Philadelphia Eagles||6||7||0|
|9. Washington Redskins||6||7||0|
|10. Green Bay Packers||5||7||1|
|11. Tampa Bay Bucs||5||8||0|
|12. New York Giants||5||8||0|
|13. Detroit Lions||5||8||0|
|14. Atlanta Falcons||4||9||0|
|15. Arizona Cardinals||3||10||0|
|16. San Francisco 49ers||3||10||0|
NFC Playoff Matchups Based on Current Standings
No. 1 New Orleans Saints (Bye)
No. 2 Los Angeles Rams (Bye)
No. 6 Minnesota Vikings vs. No. 3 Chicago Bears
No. 5 Seattle Seahawks vs. No. 4 Dallas Cowboys