KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One of the cool things about my job is that my editors encourage me to spend hours looking at things like ESPN's playoff machine. I've done that today in an effort to find a way that the Kansas City Chiefs would be left out of the playoffs if they win their final three games.
I couldn't find one. If anyone else can, please let me know by sending a note to my Twitter account (@adamteicher).
But I'm going forward here with the belief that the 10-6 Chiefs would make the playoffs as a wild-card entrant no matter what happens in games involving other playoff contenders.
At 10-6, the Chiefs would be the second-place team in the AFC West. They would lose a tiebreaker for the AFC West championship to the Denver Broncos, who would have to lose each of their remaining games to finish at 10-6.
But they would have the tiebreaker against the San Diego Chargers, who are 8-5 but under this scenario could finish no better than 10-6 because they play the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 28 on the final day of the regular season.
The schedule has other breaks for the Chiefs. They play against another team currently ahead of them in the wild-card race, the 8-5 Steelers, on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh.
Two other teams currently ahead of the Chiefs, the 8-5 Ravens and 7-6 Texans, face one another on Dec. 21 in Houston. That would put one of those teams behind the Chiefs.
The Chiefs also look like they'll have the tiebreaker on the other teams that could get to 10-6 but not win their division: Miami, Buffalo, Cleveland and Indianapolis.
So though it took me hours to get to this point, this has still been the easy part. Getting the Chiefs to 10-6?
That's the hard part.