KANSAS CITY (Sporting Alert) — The hunt for playoff places in the NFL is set to take center stage in Week 17 on Sunday, Dec. 28.
One of the main highlights of the day is expected to come from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where the Chiefs will take on the San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers (9-6) are sitting second in the AFC West and can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Chiefs (8-7), who are sitting behind them in the division standings.
A win for San Diego and a defeat for the Baltimore Ravens against the Cleveland Browns, could also see the travelers clinching a playoff spot.
Kansas City, meanwhile, will need to win the at home and then hope for some favors along the way. They beat San Diego 23-20 on Oct 19.
Heading into the game with starting quarterback Alex Smith, the Chiefs, who have dropped four of their last five games, must win and then hope the Ravens loses and the Houston Texans lose or tie in their clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are already eliminated from the playoff runnings.
Kansas City announced earlier in the week that Smith has lacerated spleen and has been ruled out of the game against the Chargers.
Also seeking a playoff spot are the Ravens, who will earn a postseason place with a win at M&T Bank Stadium and a Chargers loss or tie. Baltimore can also tie and make the playoff — just as long as the Chargers loses.
Also in the AFC, the Houston Texans (8-7) will clinch a playoff spot with a win and a Ravens and Chargers loss.
Of all the four teams hoping for a postseason spot on Sunday, the Chiefs look like the team with the most difficult task.
Apart from the playoff hunters, there are several other things up for grab in Week 17 on Sunday.
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will clinch a first-round bye if they can pick up a win or a tie or if the Cincinnati Bengals failed to win plus a victory for the Indianapolis Colts at the Tennessee Titans.
Elsewhere, the Pittsburgh Steelers will clinch the AFC North with a win at the Bengals in the Sunday Night Football game in Week 17, which will be live on NBC.
The Dallas Cowboys can clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with a victory over the Washington Redskins and a Cardinals defeat or tie, plus a tie in the Detroit and Green Bay matchup.
So far, the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks have all clinched playoff spots from the NFC.
In the AFC, the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Steelers and Bengals have all booked their postseason places.
Chargers clinch playoff spot with:
1) a win
2) a tie plus a Ravens loss or tie
Ravens clinch playoff spot with:
1) a win plus a Chargers loss or tie
2) a tie plus a Chargers loss
The Chiefs clinch a playoff spot with: a win plus a Ravens loss and a Texans loss or tie.
The Texans clinch a playoff spot with: a win plus a Ravens loss and a Chargers loss.
Week 17: Sunday – Dec. 28
GAME TIME (ET) TV CHANNELS STADIUM
Cleveland at Baltimore 1:00 PM CBS M&T Bank Stadium
Dallas at Washington 1:00 PM FOX FedEx Field
Indianapolis at Tennessee 1:00 PM CBS LP Field
Jacksonville at Houston 1:00 PM FOX NRG Stadium
San Diego at Kansas City 1:00 PM CBS Arrowhead Stadium
NY Jets at Miami 1:00 PM CBS Sun Life Stadium
Chicago at Minnesota 1:00 PM FOX TCF Bank Stadium
Buffalo at New England 1:00 PM CBS Gillette Stadium
Philadelphia at NY Giants 1:00 PM FOX MetLife Stadium
New Orleans at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM FOX Raymond James Stadium
Carolina at Atlanta 4:25 PM CBS Georgia Dome
Detroit at Green Bay 4:25 PM FOX Lambeau Field
Oakland at Denver 4:25 PM CBS Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Arizona at San Francisco 4:25 PM FOX Levi’s Stadium
St. Louis at Seattle 4:25 PM FOX CenturyLink Field
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh 8:30 PM NBC Heinz Field