Chiefs (again) can clinch playoff spot

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs keep losing, three in a row now, but many of the teams pursuing them for an AFC wild-card berth keep losing as well. So the formula for the 9-3 Chiefs to clinch a spot in the postseason this week is simple.

They're in if they beat the Redskins in Washington on Sunday and either the 6-6 Miami Dolphins or the 6-6 Baltimore Ravens lose their respective games. The Dolphins are at the Pittsburgh Steelers while the Ravens are at home against the Minnesota Vikings.

Think about that for a second. The Chiefs can make the playoffs by winning their own game and getting help from one of two old friends, Todd Haley and Matt Cassel. I'm sure either one of those guys is eager to help the Chiefs get into the postseason.

Beyond that, the Chiefs can clinch a playoff spot by winning two of their final four games. In that case, they won't need help from Haley, Cassel or anyone else.

The Chiefs are a game behind the 10-2 Denver Broncos in the AFC West standings. But the Broncos have the tiebreaker because they swept the season series with the Chiefs, so Kansas City would need to finish ahead of the Broncos to win the division title. Any tie would go to the Broncos.

The combination of the way the Chiefs are playing and Denver's remaining schedule makes that an unlikely prospect. Denver finishes with four losing teams (Tennessee, San Diego, Houston and Oakland).