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

The Kansas City Chiefs face the Denver Broncos in Denver in Wee 18. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of the stadium as the sun sets over the stadium during the second half of a game between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High on November 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Saturday update: The Chiefs finally got the job done on Saturday, defeating the Broncos and securing the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They still have a slim hope of grabbing the No. 1 seed and a bye week, but the Titans would have to truly blow it and lose to the Jaguars on Sunday for that to happen.

The Kansas City Chiefs travel to face the Denver Broncos in a Week 18 finale with playoff seeding implications. The game opens Week 18, having been moved to a a Saturday 4:30 p.m. ET kickoff. The Chiefs are a 10.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. Kansas City will likely be without Clyde Edwards-Helaire while the Broncos are not expected to have starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater due to his concussion.

Chiefs playoff picture

The Chiefs are 11-5 and tied for first place in the overall AFC standings. They are tied with the Titans but Tennessee has the tiebreaker advantage due to their Week 7 win in Nashville. They already clinched the AFC West title.

Kansas City can claim the No. 1 overall seed but they need a win and either a Titans loss or tie. They could also secure it with a tie and a Titans loss. The Titans travel to face the 4-12 Texans to close out the season.

The Chiefs can finish anywhere from No. 1 to No. 4 in the AFC playoff bracket. If they win, they’re guaranteed no worse than the No. 2 seed. If they lose, the only way they can remain No. 2 is with losses or ties by the Bengals, Bills, and Patriots.

Relevant Week 18 matchups

Bengals (10-6) @ Browns (7-9)
Titans (11-5) @ Texans (4-12)
Jets (4-12) @ Bills (10-6)
Patriots (10-6) @ Dolphins (8-8)