Two years ago with the Chiefs’ playoff seeding secured entering the final weekend, coach Andy Reid rested his starters and lost the finale to the Chargers in overtime.
Now, with the Chiefs assured of a playoff spot entering their finale against the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium but not their seeding, Reid plans to …
“We’re going to prep ourselves to play the Raiders,” Reid said. “There are a bunch of scenarios out there. I don’t really care about those.”
Reid was asked a second time, would there be any scenario in which he could see resting his starters?
“I’m not very good with these things,” Reid said. “I haven’t put a lot of time into that right now. Right now, I’m full steam ahead on the Raiders.”
If the decision to play or rest starters depends on the outcome of Monday night’s game between the Broncos and Bengals in Denver, keep in mind that the three seeding possibilities for the Chiefs will remain in play no matter what happens at Mile High.
The Chiefs, who at 10-5 are a half-game behind the Broncos at 10-4, can be the third, fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoffs.
They would be the third seed if they tie the Broncos in the AFC West standings because of a better division record.
If the Broncos win the division and the Chiefs are tied with the Jets or Steelers, the Chiefs hold the tiebreaker advantage over both and would be the fifth seed.
The only way the Chiefs would be the sixth seed is if they lose to the Raiders and the Jets win at Buffalo on Sunday. In that scenario, the Jets would own a better record than the Chiefs.
The difference between owning a No. 3 seed and a No. 5 or 6 seed is the site. A third seed opens the postseason at home. The fifth and sixth seeds start the playoffs on the road.
Adding to the drama of the final weekend, the NFL has shifted the kickoff time of the Chiefs-Raiders game to 3:25 p.m., the same time as the Chargers-Broncos game. That way, an early outcome won’t influence the later team’s game plan.
The Chiefs-Raiders game also was moved to Fox, from CBS. That move allows viewers to switch between the games that will involve the AFC West title chase.
The Chiefs are in the playoffs for the second time in Reid’s three years in Kansas City. In 2013, they made the postseason as the fifth seed and lost at Indianapolis in the opener.
That season, a week earlier, Chase Daniel started at quarterback and several other reserves finished the regular season as starters and fell in overtime at San Diego.