18 weeks fly by when you’re having fun — thankfully, the show is not over yet. The NFL playoff picture can be a bit fuzzy at times, but don’t worry — we’re here to clear things up.
After a 31-13 win against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18, the team’s overall season record triumphs at 14-3, landing the spot as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
What does this mean?
No, not like a seed in the ground — although, this could blossom into a beautiful Lombardi trophy in a few weeks. Seeding is the rank that the eligible playoff teams are in based on qualifications such as overall season records, division records, and tie-breakers. The No. 1 seed position means we get to watch one less Chiefs game due to a first round bye week, but this means the team can rest up + plan ahead for the Divisional Round.
How did we get here?
This year, unprecedented changes led to the final playoff picture.
The Buffalo Bills, KC’s biggest threat, had to cancel their Week 17 game due to a medical emergency with safety Damar Hamlin. Buffalo (12-3) entered Monday night needing a win to maintain the AFC’s No. 1 seed, and the Bengals (11-4) had a chance to earn that top seed with two more wins and a loss.
The NFL ultimately decided that the No. 1 seed would be decided by regular season winning percentage, with the Chiefs coming out on top after Week 18. The AFC championship game will be played at a neutral site if the Chiefs face the Bills. The league is considering several neutral championship game sites, including indoor and outdoor stadiums.
Road to Super Bowl LVII
Now that the details are worked out, it’s time to look at the ultimate goal — Super Bowl LVII. The Chiefs will have a first round bye week before facing the lowest remaining seed from the Wild Card Round. The Divisional Round will come to Arrowhead on Saturday, Jan. 21, or Sunday, Jan. 22.