KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Just one regular-season game remaining on the schedule, but so many possibilities on the table for the playoff-bound Chiefs.
The Chiefs (10-5) could either be a third, fifth or sixth seed depending on what happens when the dust settles in Week 17.
And while each seed offers intrigue, don’t expect coach Andy Reid to pay attention to the scenarios, at least publicly.
“Don’t really care about all of those,” Reid told reporters Monday. “We’re going to focus in on the Raiders and make sure we get ourselves ready for a good football team.”
Sounds like a simple enough approach, but there remains unfinished business regardless of Reid’s public stance because the Chiefs could still win the AFC West.
The Denver Broncos (10-4) hold a half-game lead over the Chiefs entering Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and a Denver loss would leave the Chiefs and Broncos in a tie atop the division.
“I know tonight’s deal, I got that,” Reid said. “All of the other stuff, I’m not sure on.”
Regardless what happens Monday night between the Broncos and Bengals, settling the division crown and playoff seeding will come down to Week 17.
The Chiefs host the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium in a matchup that was flexed from its original 12 p.m. CT start to 3:25 p.m., which coincides with the Broncos hosting the San Diego Chargers.
A Chiefs’ win combined with a Denver loss in Week 17 puts the tiebreaker in play, which the Chiefs own based on a better division record.
As a division winner, the Chiefs would host a playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium as opposed to traveling on the road as a fifth or sixth wildcard seed.
So the bigger question surrounds whether the Chiefs will rest players in the season finale, much like Reid did in 2013.
While Reid didn’t directly address that inquiry when asked by reporters, there is a big difference from the 2013 season.
The Chiefs couldn’t improve their playoff position and were locked in as the No. 5 seed in 2013, but now have plenty to play for heading into Sunday.
“If you have an opportunity to win the AFC West, I think that’s important,” Reid conceded. “At the same time, it’s also good to be in the playoffs and that’s an important part of your goals as a National Football League team. We have one of those taken care of.”
The Chiefs can’t control what happens with the Broncos, of course.
But Reid can certainly ensure his players are prepared for a game that has ramifications on the AFC playoff picture.
“Right now, I’m full steam ahead on the Raiders,” Reid said. “We’ve already looked at yesterday’s game as a staff and well into the Raiders part of it. I’m pretty simple that way.”
Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.