The season is winding down, and most of the stress any Kansas City Chiefs fan was feeling is likely gone with the postseason ticket punched.
Kansas City has looked great offensively the last two weeks, scoring 45 and 56 respectively. The Chiefs have gotten themselves to 11-3 and into a tie for the AFC West lead. However, they need somewhat of a miracle to win the division since the tiebreaker belongs to Denver.
Still, first things first. The Chiefs need to take care of their own business and beat the 9-5 Indianapolis Colts. Can they do it?
Let's turn to our staff...
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)
Matt Verderame: Chiefs 34, Colts 23
Kansas City has been rolling offensively, and the Colts are a far cry from the '85 Bears. The Chiefs should be able to move the ball very well, making me believe Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles are in for another big day.
Call me a sucker, but I believe this team has turned a serious corner offensively, If Kansas City can get out in front and make the entire game about Andrew Luck beating them by throwing for a ton of yardage, I don't think he can do it. He might come close, but ultimately fall short.
Joel Thorman: Chiefs 28, Colts 27
As usual, I'm worried about this game. The Colts are not very good in the first half so KC jumps out to a lead and holds on in the second half.
Matt Conner: Chiefs 28, Colts 17
Don't be fooled by the record. I've seen this Colts team enough to know that they will wilt against proper coaching. Andrew Luck deserves the hype and appreciation for his incredible play, but he's often forced to do too much against smart teams. Injuries have taken their toll, and they miss Bruce Arians more than anyone will say. All of this means KC should roll pretty easily at home.
Now, back to Matt Verderame for the rest of the picks... (All lines provided by Oddsshark.com.)
Miami Dolphins (-2.5) at Buffalo Bills
On the surface, this game appears to be a easy win for the Dolphins (8-6). However, Buffalo is always tough at home, especially late in the season. More importantly, the Bills (5-9) lead the league with 49 sacks and Miami has allowed a league-high 51. I'm going with the Dolphins, but I'm not overly confident.
Pick: Miami 23, Buffalo 20
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-3)
This might be the best game of the week. If the Saints (10-4) win, they are the No. 2 seed. If the Panthers (10-4) win, they only need to beat Atlanta next week to be the second seed. Carolina got waxed a few weeks ago in the Superdome, but this game is in Charlotte. The Saints are atrocious on the road.
Pick: Carolina 27, New Orleans 23
Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5)
Cincinnati (9-5) is a very talented but wonky team. One week, Andy Dalton and the boys look like world beaters. The next, they look like a bumbling group who will be one-and-done in the postseason, Minnesota (4-9-1) sucks, but it has been fighting hard, 3-2-1 in the last six games. Translation: Who the hell knows.
Pick: Cincinnati 24, Minnesota 20
Denver Broncos (-11.5) at Houston Texans
Everybody knows how badly I would like to pick the massive upset here. I would love to see it even more than this. Denver (11-3) is evil, but the Texans (2-12) are awful. It would be very difficult to honestly look at this and see anything other than a Broncos win. C'mon Matt Schaub...
Pick: Denver 41, Houston 31
Tennessee Titans (-5.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
How is Tennessee (5-9) favored by this much on the road against Jacksonville (4-10)? Didn't the Jaguars beat the Titans in Nashville? Even more to the point, is Ryan Fitzpatrick really better than Chad Henne? Why the hell are we even discussing this game?
Pick: Tennessee 23, Jacksonville 21
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (-1)
Cleveland (4-10) can't get to the draft soon enough to draft a quarterback. The Browns actually are very talented, but have the equivalent of a man in a straightjacket trying to throw the ball. Meanwhile, the Jets (6-8) are dysfunctional and crappy. At least New York can lean on knowing it has a competent head coach.
Pick: New York 17, Cleveland 14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams (-5)
St. Louis (6-8) and Tampa Bay (4-10) are both talented but not going anywhere. Luckily for the Rams, they have Washington's first round pick and their own, making the first round a supermarket sweep of sorts. Remember that show? That has to be the worst gameshow of all-time right? Oh yeah, the game. St. Louis at home.
Pick: St. Louis 26, Tampa Bay 20
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Washington Redskins
Alright, this is the game I want to see outside of the Chtiefs. Dallas should beat this team by 40 points, but you just know what's coming. You know Tony Romo is going to drop back and fire four interceptions. You know Jason Garrett has no clue what planet he's on. You know Jerry Jones is going to get some unwanted camera time.That's right, Hail to the Redskins...
Pick: Washington 30, Dallas 27
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (-10.5)
Detroit is a complete joke for being 7-7 with all that talent. Of course, when your coach should probably being roaming the halls of an insane asylum instead of a sideline, that tends to be a problem. Fortunately, the Lions are playing a horrific Giants (5-9) team this week and everyone has abandoned them, which means they'll win by 30.
Pick: Detroit 37, New York 17
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-11)
Arizona (9-5) needs to win this game to remain relevant in the playoff picture. Seattle (12-2) can clinch the top seed in the NFC with a victory of its own. I expect this game to be tough and a lot of fun, but can you believe in Carson Palmer against the Legion of Adderall? Probably not.
Pick: Seattle 20, Arizona 17
Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers (NO LINE)
I'm going to assume Aaron Rodgers is still out. Green Bay is miraculusly still in the hunt and actually controls its own destiny. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is all but eliminated from contention. Is Matt Flynn good enough to beat the Steelers? Tough to say, but Eddie Lacy is.
Pick: Green Bay 24, Pittsburgh 23
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (-11.5)
San Diego (7-7) is going to score every time they touch the ball against Oakland (4-10). The Raiders might have given up 70 points last week had the Chiefs left their starters in. Call me crazy, but I'm not taking the Hall of Fame duo of Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor here.
Pick: San Diego 38, Oakland 17
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (-1)
This is a really good game. New England (10-4) needs to win out to ensure a first-round bye. Baltimore is now in a position where two more wins guarantees it an AFC North title. I'm not huge on either of these teams, because the Ravens easily could have lost at home to Minnesota and if not for a 61-yard field goal, would have lost to Detroit, while the Patriots are a weekly sideshow. In this game, give me the quarterback.
Pick: New England 21, Baltimore 17
Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
Another quality game to enjoy. Chicago and Philadelphia are very similar teams, each with a potent offense and a highly suspect defense. Ironically this game means nothing for the Eagles outside of potential seeding should Dallas win earlier in the day. If the Cowboys lose, this is for the NFC East.
Pick: Philadelphia 27, Chicago 24
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (-13.5)
The final game at Candlestick Park will bring back a lot of memories for those folks in the Bay Area. The place is a hole, but it has some of the most iconic moments in the NFL history, including this gem. Every time I see that, I get chills. It's amazing to watch a dynasty begin with a throw from a man who would become the greatest of all-time, yet then was an unknown.
Pick: San Francisco 34, Atlanta 14
Last week: 8-8 (6-9 ATS)