If the first half of the season had everyone ignoring the Vikings, the second half of the season seems to have everyone ignoring the Chiefs. I can’t say I blame people for it. They looked good week 1, then faltered hard, losing 5 straight. In the 4th loss, star RB Jamaal Charles went down with an ACL tear. With the Chiefs at 1-5 and without their best weapon, it was pretty damn easy to write them off.

And now they’ve won 7 straight. Yes, really. Nobody is talking about it again, even though it seems pretty clear the Chiefs have a wild card slot in hand. It’s not like they’ve beaten a bunch of chumps, either. They did take down the Lions and San Diego twice, sure, but the other wins? Buffalo, Oakland, Pittsburgh, & Denver. The Chiefs are playing remarkably well. Alex Smith has found Jeremy Maclin finally, and is taking superb care of the football. They are still rushing the ball effectively. The defense is stuffing people. This is a team playing great football when they absolutely need to be, and everyone else is still getting more attention.

The Chiefs currently hold the 5th seed at 8-5. They share that record with 2 other teams, Pittsburgh and the Jets. That victory over Pittsburgh is vital right now and is keeping the Steelers out of the playoffs. The Steelers still have a chance to win the division, but they have a much better chance at the wildcard. But looking at the remaining schedules for each team, I think the Chiefs have the easiest path.

Chiefs: @Ravens, Browns, Oakland
Steelers: Broncos, @Ravens, @Browns
Jets: @Cowboys, Patriots, @Bills

Looking at that I’m guessing the wildcards are going to be Kansas City and Pittsburgh (On current track, who knows what the other playoff teams might do). Both get easy games against the Ravens and Browns. The Steelers might have a harder time with the Broncos than the Chiefs will with the Raiders, who they’ve already beat in Oakland. The Steelers pretty much have to match the Chiefs and hope the Jets drop one extra game, something very possible. The point is, things look very positive for Kansas City here and they control their own destiny into a soft back end schedule. Who knows, if the Broncos melt down they could even take the west.

If I had my personal preference, I’d want the Bengals to play the Chiefs in the wildcard round, simply so that one of those two franchises finally gets to experience playoff happiness after all these years.