Chiefs Take the AFC West, Second Seed in Playoffs

Kansas City clinched its first AFC West championship since 2010 on Sunday

The Kansas City Chiefs are the champions of the AFC West.

With the Chiefs' win over the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders' loss to the Denver Broncos Sunday afternoon, Kansas City locked up its first AFC West division championship since 2010.

"To win the division is special," Chiefs' quarterback Alex Smith said. "Every day I'm in that indoor facility and I see all those banners that are up, and we haven't been able to get one ourselves. So it will be nice to get one up there." 

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While Kansas City and Oakland both finished with 12-4 records, the Chiefs won the division by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker – the Chiefs beat Oakland both times they played this season.

The Chiefs also secured the number two seed, a first-round bye and at least one game at Arrowhead Stadium in the postseason. Kansas City will host the highest remaining seed between the Pittsburgh Steelers (3), Houston Texans (4) or Raiders (5) following the first weekend of action.

The Chiefs' first-round bye guarantees that Kansas City will be playing in the second round of the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since the Wild Card format was introduced in 1978. Kansas City defeated the Texans, 30-0, in the Wild Card round of last year's postseason before falling to the New England Patriots, 27-20, in the Divisional round.

Kansas City's 12 wins this season are also significant, as it's the first time the Chiefs have tallied 12 or more wins since 2003.

In addition to bringing a playoff game back to Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since 2010, the bye week allows Kansas City to get healthy for a potential playoff run.

Linebacker Justin Houston has missed the past two weeks of action because of swelling in his knee and running back Spencer Ware is nursing bruised ribs.

Regardless of their opponent, the Chiefs are headed back to the postseason for a third time in four seasons and can now add a division championship to their list of achievements under head coach Andy Reid. 

Impressive as it is, this team is looking to achieve more.

"You want to stay hungry and keep getting more," Reid said. "I think that's something the guys felt last year when they got a little taste of it."

"They want to keep playing."

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