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NFL Playoff Picture: Chiefs set for top seeding in AFC

Entering the final week of the regular season, five teams have clinched playoff berths in the AFC with two division titles and one wild card spot to be decided. 

And there is just as much uncertainty at the top of the pile with three teams still vying to earn the No.1 seed, a first-round bye, and home advantage throughout the postseason. 

Chiefs on target to be No.1 seeds 

The postponement of the Week 17 Monday Night Football clash between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals leaves the path to the top AFC seed open to three teams. 

The Kansas City Chiefs, who clinched their seventh consecutive AFC West crown a week before Christmas, made it to 13 wins by outlasting the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday. 

Kansas City can lock up the No.1 spot if they beat the Las Vegas Raiders, a game in which they are favoured by -7.5 points on the Spread at -110, and the Bills lose one of their two outstanding games. 

Andy Reid's team can also clinch that coveted week off and ensure they don't have to leave Missouri for the next month if Buffalo lose both of their remaining games and the Bengals also come up short in their Week 18 clash with the Baltimore Ravens. 

Given the uncertainty surrounding when the postponed clash at Paul Brown Stadium will be played, the Chiefs probably have a better shot at grabbing home-field advantage than they did entering Week 17. 

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Buffalo probably need two more wins

One of the reasons why they all want it is that since 1975, the top seed in either the NFC or AFC has won the Lombardi Trophy a total of 25 times out of 47 Super Bowls. 

The Bills only know how to lose them, having come up short in four consecutive Super Bowls between the 1990 and 1993 seasons. But they were the No.1 seed in three of those deep playoff runs. 

Their best chance of ensuring that their rivals have to make the trek to frigid Buffalo this month is by winning both of their remaining games against the Bengals and New England Patriots. 

Sean McDermott's team, who are +180 to win the AFC Championship, can also do it if they beat 4/1 Cincy but +175 Kansas City lose to the Raiders - or if both of their rivals for the No.1 seed lose this week and they at least beat the Patriots. 

Bengals and Jaguars chase division titles 

The reigning AFC champions need plenty to fall into place if they are to usurp both Kansas City and Buffalo. For a start, they must beat Buffalo whenever that Week 17 game is played. 

Zac Taylor's men must also knock off the Ravens next Sunday and hope the Chiefs and the Bills lose both of their Week 18 assignments. However, if they lose both of their games, they will hand the AFC North crown to Baltimore. 

The AFC South title is the other division left up for grabs and the scenario there is simple - the 8-8 Jacksonville Jaguars can clinch with a win or a tie against the 7-9 Tennessee Titans or the Titans get in if they beat the Jags because of the better conference record. 

Wild card race going to the wire

The second-placed team in the AFC North and the Los Angeles Chargers are already confirmed as wild card teams, leaving a spot open for one of four 8-8 teams to fill. 

The Patriots can make it into the postseason for a second year in a row if they beat the Bills in Buffalo this Sunday. 

Their alternative route involves the Miami Dolphins losing to the slumping New York Jets, the Pittsburgh Steelers losing to the Cleveland Browns and the Jaguars beating the Titans. 

A New England defeat would let the Dolphins in as long as they win at home to the Jets. 

And defeats for both the Patriots and Fins would enable Pittsburgh to sneak into the No.7 spot if they could beat the Browns. 

The only other team that could fill the last wild card berth are the Jaguars if they lose, but so too do the Patriots, Dolphins and Steelers.

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