The Buffalo Bills, with their loss to the New England Patriots on Monday night, dropped to 5-5, the same record as the Chiefs. Through the NFL's tiebreaking procedures, which also involve the three other 5-5 AFC teams, the Chiefs would survive.
The Chiefs would play at the Denver Broncos in the wild-card round of the playoffs, and then with a victory there would move on to play at the Patriots.
That's a tough road to the AFC Championship Game, and it's why it's important the Chiefs catch the Pittsburgh Steelers and become the first wild-card entrant and the fifth overall seed. As of now, the 6-4 Steelers would play at the Indianapolis Colts in the wild-card round.
The Chiefs would need to have only the same record as the Steelers. The Chiefs have the tiebreaker over the Steelers because they beat Pittsburgh last month at Arrowhead Stadium.
Another thing to consider: The Chiefs need the suddenly faltering Cincinnati Bengals and not the Steelers to win the AFC North. The Bengals beat the Chiefs this season and would have the tiebreaker over Kansas City.
At any rate, it's quite a turnaround for the Chiefs to be looking at playoff scenarios after the 1-5 start to their season. At that time, ESPN's Football Power Index gave the Chiefs a 4.7 percent chance of reaching the postseason.
That number is now at 74.6 percent. The Football Power Index gives the Chiefs a 13.4 percent chance to win their remaining six games, second behind only the Arizona Cardinals, and suggests they have at least a 57 percent chance to win each of their remaining games. FPI says the Chiefs have a 65 percent chance of beating the Bills on Sunday when the teams meet at Arrowhead Stadium.