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2022 NFL Playoff Scenarios For Chiefs and Titans: Tennessee Clinches AFC Top Seed, Chiefs To Be No. 2

2022 NFL Playoff Scenarios For Chiefs and Titans: Tennessee Clinches AFC Top Seed, Chiefs To Be No. 2 article feature image
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Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans gestures

Sunday Afternoon Update

The Titans will officially be the worst team in DVOA history to be a No. 1 seed.

That metric is dating back to 1985 and it’s a staggering one.

Pangs of that mediocrity showed on Sunday. The Titans barely squeaked by a lowly Texans team despite holding a stark comparative advantage on both sides of the ball.

Still, Mike Vrabel and Co. will take their first-round bye as it comes.

The Chiefs are now locked in as the No. 2 seed in the AFC and will be forced to host a playoff game next week.

Saturday Night Update

The Kansas City Chiefs did its part, escaping Denver with a 28-24 win over the Broncos.

The Chiefs currently hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC. However, the Titans can still earn it with a win over the Texans on Sunday.

The Bengals and Patriots are officially out of contention for the top spot.

Original Update

The top seed in the AFC is still open heading into Week 18 with four teams having a chance at home field advantage.

The Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots are all mathematically alive for the top spot heading into Saturday’s games. That could all change by Saturday night as the Chiefs meet the Denver Broncos in the afternoon.

According to The Action Network’s Travis Reed’s simulations, the Titans are projected as the No. 1 seed with the easiest path to clinch. The Chiefs have the next-best chance. The Bengals and Patriots will know by the end of Kansas City’s game if they still have a chance.

Start with Saturday and the Chiefs.

The Chiefs need to beat the Broncos on Saturday and a loss or tie by the Titans against the Houston Texans on Sunday to earn the No. 1 seed. 

If the Chiefs tie the Broncos, they can still get in with a Tennessee loss.

The Titans and Chiefs are both double-digit betting favorites in Week 18 (check real-time NFL odds here).

Tennessee clinches the No. 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win. That’s it. Reed gives the Titans an 82% chance of  winning.  The Chiefs are projected to be the No. 1 seed 12% of the time.

The Bengals have a chance (4.6% chance), but it’ll take a lot of help. The Bengals have to beat the Browns along with the Titans, Chiefs and Patriots all losing.  The problem is the Bengals aren’t playing Joe Burrow and many starters, some who are dealing with COVID-19. They’re underdogs to Cleveland, and the Chiefs, Titans and Patriots are all favorites.

For the Patriots to clinch, they need to beat the Dolphins while the Bills, Chiefs and Titans all lose. 

This is a two-horse race with Kansas City getting the first chance to put pressure on the Titans.

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