Bad sign for Steelers' playoff hopes: Chiefs will split first-team reps between starters and backups this week http://t.co/Kr3t2EzXTb— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) December 24, 2013
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has a history of resting starters once their playoff seed is clinched (he did it 4 times as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles), and the Chiefs are locked into the #5 seed, regardless of whether they win in week 17 or not. Reid says he hasn't made a decision on whether or not to play mostly backups, but he admitted he's already giving half of the first-team reps to the backups. This is good news for the Dolphins, who in addition to needing to win against the Jets, also need EITHER the Ravens to lose to the Bengals OR the Chargers to beat the Chiefs. If all 3 teams win, creating a 3-way tie at 9-7, the Dolphins win due to the conference record tiebreak. Some have argued that the Chargers won't have anything to play for at 4:25 p.m. if the Dolphins win their 1 p.m. game, but with a new coaching staff in San Diego set to continue making personnel changes this coming offseason, the Chargers will have every incentive to use this game to continue to evaluate their players and end the year on a high note with a 9-7 record.