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NFL playoff picture: What does Chiefs-Bengals mean for AFC standings

The Chiefs face the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs after a catch during a 34-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on December 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Result: Bengals 34, Chiefs 31. A last-second Evan McPherson field goal lifted the Bengals above the Chiefs on Sunday. Cincinnati has officially clinched the AFC North while the Chiefs will have to wait another week to officially clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

The Kansas City Chiefs hit the road to take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, January 2nd. Kickoff from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio is set for 1:00 p.m. ET and the game will air on CBS. The Chiefs are the only AFC team with a playoff spot locked in as they have secured the AFC West after their win last week. The Bengals can clinch the AFC North with a win.

AFC playoff picture

Of the seven playoff spots in the AFC playoffs, there is only one spot taken so far and it is by the Chiefs. They can clinch the overall number one seed in the playoffs including a first-round bye with a win. For the Bengals, they go into Week 17 as the 3-seed, sitting atop the AFC North which they can clinch with a win. The Bengals have two wins over the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers so even if they have the same record they will get the edge over those teams if it goes to a tiebreaker.

Relevant Week 17 matchups

Falcons (7-8) @ Bills (9-6)
Dolphins (8-7) @ Titans (10-5)
Raiders (8-7) @ Colts (9-6)
Jaguars (2-13) @ Patriots (9-6)
Rams (11-4) @ Ravens (8-7)
Broncos (7-8) @ Chargers (8-7)
Browns (7-8) @ Steelers (7-7-1)