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How Chiefs can clinch the No. 1 seed in Week 17

The Chiefs struggled early in the 2021 season but are on a roll to close out the regular season. They can clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed in Week 17. We break down what they need to do and where they can land in the 2022 NFL playoffs.

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs calls the play in the huddle in the first quarter of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Result: Bengals 34, Chiefs 31. A last-second Evan McPherson field goal lifted the Bengals over the Chiefs on Sunday. Kansas City has relinquished the top spot in the AFC to Tennessee for the time being. The Titans defeated the Dolphins on Sunday to claim the AFC South title.

The Kansas City Chiefs hit the road to try and secure the 1-seed in the AFC playoffs by taking on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17. Kickoff from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio is set for 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS. The Bengals will be looking to clinch the AFC North if they are able to come away with a win.

The Chiefs seemed to have gotten over their early-season woes as they have won eight-straight games and have an 11-4 record. They are the only team in the AFC that enters today's games with a playoff spot secured as they clinched the AFC West last week. There are two ways that the Chiefs can leave today as the 1-seed in the AFC:

  1. KC win + TEN loss or tie OR
  2. KC tie + TEN loss

The Chiefs control their own destiny in that if they win their last two games they get the one-seed and the all-important bye week in the first round of the playoffs. With the new 18-week format of the NFL season, that first-round bye is very desirable and good prove valuable this year.

The Chiefs came into the 2021 season with high expectations. DraftKings Sportsbook installed them at -1000 to claim any kind of playoff berth this season and +500 to win the Super Bowl.