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The race for the AFC’s No. 1 seed will carry into the season finale.

With the Chiefs now in need of some help.

The Bengals kicked a game-winning field goal to upend the Chiefs 34-31 on Sunday, leaving the Chiefs second-guessing some late-game decisions and, more importantly, on the outside looking in for homefield advantage in the postseason

The Titans beat the Dolphins on Sunday to pull even with the Chiefs, and thanks to a head-to-head victory two months ago, they hold the tiebreaker.

The Chiefs travel to Denver next week. The Titans will make a trip to Houston.

But first, let’s recap the loss to the Bengals with five observations from immediately after the game.

1. Tear up the Ja’Marr Chase game plan

Days before a trip to Cincinnati, the Chiefs said they anticipated seeing the best trio of receivers they’ve faced all season.

They got burned by one in particular.

No. 1, to be precise.

Ja’Marr Chase tore up the Chiefs’ secondary — once after the catch, once before the catch, once on a one-on-one jump ball.

All for touchdowns.

Chase had 11 catches for 266 yards. The leading candidate for offensive rookie of the year iced a red-hot secondary.

And yet, long after he had surpassed 200 yards, the Chiefs left him single-covered on the most critical down of the game.

Guess what happened? Chase won that battle, turned a 3rd-and-27 snap into a first down and let the Bengals kick the game-winning field goal and roll out the clock in the process.

Chase caught his first touchdown 61 yards shy of the end zone, then juked and weaved through the secondary before outrunning a plethora of defensive backs. Later in the first half, Joe Burrow offered Chase a jump ball against Charvarius Ward. Advantage, Chase.

Didn’t slow in the second half, either. A zone-beating fly pattern fooled safety Dan Sorensen en route to a third score.

If these two teams meet again this month — and they could — they’re going to want to consider shadowing him some more attention.

2. The Chiefs should’ve let the Bengals score

There are a million ways to dissect the way the Bengals played the end of the game — electing twice to go for it on fourth down rather than a game-winning field goal in the last minute — but what could the Chiefs have done differently?

Let the Bengals score. Give your All-Pro quarterback time to match.

After the two-minute warning, Bengals twice tried to stuff the ball in the end zone on quarterback sneaks, but the Chiefs stuffed them both.

If they had allowed Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow across the line, they could’ve offered Patrick Mahomes nearly two minutes to drive down field and tie the game. Who bets against him?

Mahomes had completed 26 of 35 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.

3. The drops

The quarterback’s midseason slump might be gone.

The drops? Still here.

The Chiefs have cost themselves points all season with dropped passes — more than any other team in football — and the trend continued Sunday.

Tyreek Hill dropped a first-quarter touchdown (though the Chiefs would score later in the drive). But he dropped a 60-yard catch at the end of the first half, and the Chiefs would end up with zero points. In the third quarter, Mahomes scrambled and hit Travis Kelce in the hands, but he couldn’t collect it.

The Chiefs punted.

These things show up against good teams; they show up in close games — both attributes of most playoff games, by the way.

4. Band-Aids on the offensive line

The Chiefs renovated their offensive line in the spring, an intentional process that concluded with five new starters.

That was the headline.

The aftermath got lost along the way — the depth suddenly became a strength, too.

It’s being tested in a real way now. After a pre-game injury to left tackle Orlando Brown and a first-quarter injury to his backup, Lucas Niang, the Chiefs played with their third straight left and right tackles in Cincinnati.

The cycle of offensive line injuries has hit the Chiefs a second straight season, but they’re better prepared than they were a year ago, when a makeshift group got beat up in the Super Bowl.

Keep in mind just how far down the depth chart the Chiefs have had to travel. They are already without Mike Remmers, who is on injured reserve. Not anticipating needing to dive that deep into their chart, they didn’t dress Kyle Long or Prince Tega Wanagho.

That forced left guard Joe Thuney to kick out to left tackle — and even held his own there, considering the circumstances.

5. The backfield

Who would be the beneficiary of the backfield snaps with Clyde Edwards-Helaire back in Kansas City nursing a shoulder injury? And how would they produce?

A whole lot of Darrel Williams.

And just fine, thank you.

Williams operated as the workhorse running back — only occasionally giving way to Derrick Gore — and provided a power game to offset a passing game that caught fire early.

Williams ran for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns, keeping his legs churning and the pile moving near the goal line.

Edwards-Helaire is the starter, but Williams is arguing for more playing time.