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Buffalo Bills can no longer clinch No. 1 seed in playoffs this week

Kansas City’s 27-24 win over Denver ensures that the AFC’s top playoff seed will remain in play in Week 18

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills can no longer clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs in Week 17, thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs holding on to win over a game Denver Broncos outfit, 27-24, at Arrowhead Stadium. Buffalo needed a win and a Kansas City loss to clinch the top seed this week, but that scenario is no longer on the table.

Editor’s note: If you’re reading this following the injury to Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin, this was written on Sunday, before the game was played and before Hamlin was injured. We have no updates on the game being rescheduled at this time. You can read updates for that story here.

The Chiefs scored back-to-back touchdowns to take a 27-17 lead after falling behind 17-13 in the third quarter, but quarterback Russell Wilson scored on his second rushing touchdown of the game to bring Denver back to within three points. Denver then got the ball back before the two-minute warning, but facing a 3rd & 5 near midfield, a Chase Edmonds rushing attempt netted only three yards, and then Wilson was sacked on fourth down on an iffy snap. Kansas City converted a first down on the ensuing possession to close the game out.

The win gives Kansas City four straight wins and puts them at 13-3 overall, and temporarily in possession of the top seed in the conference. If the Bills can beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, the Bills will re-claim the top seed with the ability to clinch it in Week 18; if the Bengals beat the Bills, the Chiefs will retain the top seed, Cincinnati will move up to second, and Buffalo will drop to third.

Buffalo still controls its own destiny, and will clinch the top seed with wins in their final two games of the regular season. Here’s an updated look at the AFC playoff picture after Sunday’s games.

AFC playoff picture, Week 18

1 z — Kansas City Chiefs 13-3 5-0 8-3 +109 W4
2 z — Buffalo Bills 12-3 3-2 8-2 +157 W6
3 z — Cincinnati Bengals 11-4 2-3 7-3 +85 W7
4 Jacksonville Jaguars 8-8 3-2 7-4 +50 W4
5 x — Los Angeles Chargers 10-6 2-3 7-4 +10 W4
6 x — Baltimore Ravens 10-6 3-2 6-5 +46 L1
7 New England Patriots 8-8 3-2 6-5 +29 W1
8 Miami Dolphins 8-8 2-3 6-5 -7 L5
9 Pittsburgh Steelers 8-8 2-3 4-7 -52 W3
11 Tennessee Titans 7-9 3-2 5-6 -57 L6