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How can Chiefs clinch a playoff spot in Week 16?

We discuss the scenarios that could see the Kansas City Chiefs clinching a playoff spot in Week 16.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25 and Joe Thuney #62 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate after Edwards-Helaire’s receiving touchdown during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs got a big break in Week 15 after looking like they were letting the Broncos back into the AFC West picture. Kansas City had lost two straight and four of six while Denver had won six of seven to close to within a game of the division lead.

Then Week 15 happened and the Chiefs rectified things in a hurry. The Broncos lost an ugly one to the Lions on Saturday, giving up five touchdown passes to Jared Goff in a 42-17 loss. On Sunday, the Chiefs were not exactly impressive against the Patriots, but they pulled away in the third quarter for a 27-17 win.

The Chiefs improved to 9-5 with the win and boosted their AFC West lead to two games. They head into Week 16 with a chance to lock up the AFC West title.

Monday update: The Chiefs lost to the Raiders, which means they still need to take care of some business to clinch a playoff spot.

Sunday update: The Broncos lost, which means the Chiefs will clinch the AFC West if they beat the Raiders.

Kansas City Chiefs playoff clinching scenarios - Week 16

  • Clinches AFC West with win, or tie + Broncos loss

The Chiefs host the Raiders on Christmas afternoon with kickoff set for 1 p.m. Kansas City is a ten-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook and beat the Raiders 31-17 in a Week 12 road game.

A tie is unlikely, but on the off-chance it does happen, they’ll already know where they stand. The night before, the Broncos host the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Denver is a 6.5-point favorite.