Making The Playoffs

Even after Sunday's loss to the Dolphins, the Chiefs still have a good shot at making the playoffs. They keep making making it hard on themselves, and the injury bug is biting hard, but with a little luck and some inspired play from some key players, there's an opportunity to get an invitation to the playoffs.

With their latest loss, the Chiefs reduced their margin for error to about zero. They've basically eliminated themselves from the divisional race, barring a major collapse by the Denver Broncos AND the San Diego Chargers. The loser between those two teams will likely take the first wild-card slot, so that leaves the Chiefs fighting with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the resurgent New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals for the final playoff spot.

At 5-4, the Chiefs are tied with the Jags and Jets in the standings, but have lost four of five conference games. If the season ended today, the Jets would be the sixth team in with a 3-3 conference record, and other than a tough game against the Bears at home this week, they have a fairly easy schedule. The Chiefs end the season with a game against the Jaguars, but don't get to play the Jets. Kansas City almost has to win out and hope the Jets lose to the Bears and drop another between now and the end of the year.
BR>The problem is, with six starters potentially out or struggling with injuries, the Chiefs have a tough road to travel, especially considering they have games against the Broncos, Chargers, Baltimore Ravens and a game on the road against the dangerous Browns.

The Chiefs better hope that quarterback Trent Green returns soon, and that tight end Tony Gonzalez only ends up missing the Oakland game. Gonzalez has been the Chiefs' primary weapon on offense, and they'll struggle as long as he's out. Kansas City may be able to hold up against the Raiders without him, but probably won't be able to beat the Broncos if he's out of the lineup.

The Jags still have tough games against the New York Giants, the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots, before meeting the Chiefs to end the year. Still lurking are the Cincinnati Bengals, who are a game behind the Chiefs, Jags and Jets and could catapult themselves into the last slot with a strong showing in the second half of the year. Unfortunately for them, they still have games against the Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Broncos, the Colts, the Ravens and the Saints. Realistically, they've probably eliminated themselves, but technically, the Bengals are still alive.

It's going to be a tough road ahead for the Chiefs, but they've still got a shot. They could theoretically lose another game and still make the playoffs, but like last season, they've reached a point relatively early where they've run out of playoff rope. It's going to take a superhuman effort across the board, but at least they've put themselves in a position where the postseason is possible, and that's a small victory in itself. Top Stories