The Chiefs were sitting atop the AFC with an 11-4 record entering Week 17.
But after Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati, Kansas City will need some considerable help to move back up and take the conference’s only bye.
Having defeated the Chiefs earlier this season, the Titans currently have the No. 1 seed at 11-5. They’ll clinch it with a victory over the Texans next Sunday.
That’s part of what makes Kansas City’s loss to Cincinnati disappointing for the franchise. But as safety Tyrann Mathieu put it postgame, the club has to get back to work and right the ship entering the postseason.
“When you’re chasing the things that we are, any loss feels like a letdown, but we can’t let that affect us moving forward,” Mathieu said, via Matt McMullen of the team’s website. “As badly as it hurts, we have to learn from this one and turn the page. We still have a lot of football [left], and we need to have confidence moving forward.”
The Chiefs will play the Broncos on Saturday afternoon to begin the Week 18 slate. By clinching the AFC West, Kansas City will have a home playoff game. But if the Chiefs win on Saturday and the Titans lose to the Texans, then Kansas City will move back into the AFC’s No. 1 seed.