Chiefs still control playoff destiny but margin for error erased by Chargers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If the Kansas City Chiefs fail to eventually win the AFC West championship and get the AFC's No. 1 playoff seed, they will look back on the final four minutes of Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Chargers with regret.

The Chiefs allowed two touchdowns plus a two-point conversion in those four minutes, turning a 14-point lead into a 29-28 loss that prevented them from clinching the division title.

The Chiefs still would win the AFC West and get the No. 1 seed by winning their final two games, in Week 16 on Sunday night against the Seahawks in Seattle and the next Sunday against the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

But their margin for error is gone. The Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot, but if they drop a game to the Chargers in the standings over the final two weekends, they would be a wild-card entrant. That would mean no first-round bye and no playoff game at Arrowhead.

They have a break before they meet the Seahawks, so the Chiefs have some time to consider the loss and move on. That process, according to running back Damien Williams, started in the moments after the game concluded.

"Put it behind us now," Williams said. "The game's over with. As soon as I leave the locker room, it's on to the next game."

It may not be that easy. The loss was reminiscent of some recent Chiefs playoff defeats, particularly the blown lead. The Chiefs led the Tennessee Titans 21-3 at halftime of last year's playoff game at Arrowhead but wound up losing 22-21.

In the 2013 playoffs, the Chiefs led the Indianapolis Colts 38-10 in the third quarter but lost 45-44.

"It sucks now but we're going to recuperate, come back and try to win these last two games," quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. "There's not much you have to say. Everybody feels that feeling. They want to get back out there tomorrow. We'll have a long 10 days. We're going to Seattle. It's a tough place to play. They're playing really good football right now."

The Chiefs had won their first six home games this season. They had beaten the Chargers the past nine times the teams had met.

Both streaks are finished after a miserable final half of the fourth quarter. The Chargers went on touchdown drives of 75 and 60 yards and scored the two-point conversion with four seconds left when the Chiefs left wide receiver Mike Williams uncovered in the end zone.

"As long as we learn from it, that's the important thing right now," coach Andy Reid said. "You don't take anything for granted at home or anywhere else. You have to bear down. ... The best thing we can do is learn from it and make ourselves a better football team."