The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have made the playoffs for the ninth season in a row and in every season with Patrick Mahomes as their quarterback. This will be the second time in Mahomes’ six years as a starter that he won’t have a first round bye, as the team is having a “down” year.
Truly, this has been an underperforming season for the Chiefs offense, as their receivers have been middling for the most part and star TE Travis Kelce is starting to show some chinks in his armor. But, they still were able to win the AFC West yet again and have the No. 3 seed locked up. They will rest their key starters as they prepare to take on their Wild Card opponent. The question is, who will that opponent be?
Most likely Wild Card Round opponent
Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs
If all the favorites win in Week 18, the Chiefs will face the Miami Dolphins after they lose to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football and drop to the No. 6 seed. The Bills are currently 3-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook after winning four straight, while the Dolphins were dismantled by the Baltimore Ravens last week. Those data points don’t mean much in this league where it seems “any given Sunday” is the main guiding principle. But, the odds are in the Bills favor this week.
Possible Wild Card Round opponents
If the Bills lose to the Dolphins, that opens up a huge can of worms, but the most-likely opponent for the Chiefs would be the winner of the Texans-Colts game on Saturday night. That scenario has the Jaguars winning the AFC South by beating the Titans, who they are 5-point favorites against.
If the Jaguars were to lose that game and the Dolphins were to beat the Bills, the Chiefs would either play the Steelers, if they beat the resting Ravens, or the Bills, if the resting Ravens beat the Steelers.
How have the Chiefs fared against these teams this season?
Week 9: Chiefs 21, Dolphins 14
This game was in Germany and neither starting QB threw for 200 yards and the Chiefs leading receivers were Noah Gray and Sky Moore. It was an odd game, but the Chiefs prevailed against the team they are most-likely to meet.
Week 14: Bills 20, Chiefs 17
The odds aren’t great that the Chiefs would meet the Bills in this first round, but if they did, we’d likely hear a lot about this earlier matchup. The Bills won despite a crazy lateral by Travis Kelce to Kadarius Toney for the go-ahead score late, but the touchdown was called back because Toney lined up offsides.