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ESPN's Playoff Machine shows Chiefs are in, if they win out

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- ESPN's Playoff Machine is back, which means again this year I'm going to spend too much time plugging in different results of various upcoming games to see how they affect the Kansas City Chiefs' chances to make the playoffs and not enough time working.

In other words, I love this thing.

I've already spent time trying to figure out various scenarios involving the 7-5 Chiefs. I can't find one that has the Chiefs winning out and missing the playoffs. I found one that has the Chiefs, who would be the first of two AFC wild-card playoff entrants and the conference's No. 5 seed, slipping down a notch and being the second wild card and the No. 6 seed, even if they win out and finish 11-5.

But that scenario involves the Pittsburgh Steelers winning out and winning the AFC North championship and the New York Jets winning out and winning the AFC East title. The chances of the Chiefs, Steelers and Jets winning out while the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots collapse? Not very good.

As for the Chiefs' chances to win out, ESPN Analytics says the Chiefs have a 35.9 percent chance of making that happen. Even if they slip once and lose a game to finish 10-6, things would appear to look good with regard to making the playoffs.

After they started the season 1-5, that's not a bad place to be.