After the Pittsburgh Steelers' 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs have now taken sole possession of the AFC's No. 1 seed.
With the NFL's expanded playoff structure making its debut in the 2020 postseason, only each conference's top team gets a first-round bye in the playoffs in addition to homefield advantage through the postseason. Last year, the Chiefs were the No. 2 seed in the AFC, which would not earn a bye week this year. Now, the Chiefs are on track to rest up while the rest of the conference would have to fight for the right to advance to the second round.
The Chiefs' 33-27 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon put them into the top spot before the Steelers-Bills game.
With three games remaining, the Chiefs have the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers. Pittsburgh has the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns.
The Steelers' loss to Buffalo drops them to 11-2 on the season after starting the year 11-0. Pittsburgh's loss also gives the Chiefs some "wiggle room" when it comes to clinching the top spot.
With a one-game lead over Pittsburgh, the Chiefs could lose a game to either the Saints or the Falcons and still be the top seed in the conference.
If the Chiefs and Steelers end the season with the same record, the tiebreaker goes as follows.
1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
5. Strength of victory.
6. Strength of schedule.
7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
9. Best net points in common games.
10. Best net points in all games.
11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
12. Coin toss
Pittsburgh's loss to Buffalo gives the Steelers a loss in common games and a loss within the conference.