The 6-2 Miami Dolphins are playing on the road against the 6-2 Kansas City Chiefs who are hosting Miami on the road in Germany. The winner of this game takes over the top spot in the AFC.
Entering week 9 the Dolphins, Chiefs, Ravens, and Jaguars, all sit at 6-2. A loss by any one of these teams could have end-of-season repercussions in terms of playoff seeding. It is odd to talk about the postseason at the halfway point of the season but that is how good this year's going for many teams.
Including the Miami Dolphins and the Chiefs who square off this weekend.
Unlike playing the Buffalo Bills with a division record on the line or the Eagles who won't play into the playoff tie-breaking scenarios unless they go deep into the formula, the Chiefs and Dolphins will have conference seeding come into play later in the year.
Primary out-of-division tie-breakers are head-to-head match-ups unless there are more than two teams tied with the same record. In that scenario, if one team has beaten the other two, they get the higher seed but if all things are equal to that point, a conference record comes into play.
Miami currently has one conference loss, to the Bills. The Chiefs also have one conference loss. By the time the 1:00 games roll around on Sunday, one of them will have their 2nd.
Why are we talking about playoff seeding this early in the year? Simply because these are the types of games that very well may decide what happens late in the year. It could be as simple as giving one of these two teams or any 6-2 team an opportunity to rest starters in the final week of the regular season should seeding be locked up.
Teams take a, one week at a time, approach to their season and this week will be no different but for fans, there is that playoff vibe to the game.
The Chiefs are the hierarchy of the AFC and until they are unseated they are the best. They have the top-rated QB in the NFL and one of the most efficient offenses in the league but they tend to play a similar style to the Dolphins and that makes this a much more anticipated game between the two of them.
Fans of both teams will get to watch from home in the early morning hours on Sunday but the real winners here are the European fans who will get to see what looks like a playoff match-up.