The Kansas City Chiefs finally got on the right track this Sunday, beating the Oakland Raiders 31-13 in convincing fashion. Sure, it wasn't a perfect game, but it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Now, Kansas City faces another de facto playoff game with the Pittsburgh Steelers staring at them from the opposite sideline. The Chiefs have a golden opportunity in front of them, but will need a terrific effort on the road to pull it off. Does Kansas City have enough to top Pittsburgh? Let's see what the guys have to say.
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)
Matt Verderame: Steelers 27, Chiefs 24
I haven't picked against the Chiefs since Week 3, but I hate the matchup of Le'Veon Bell against this defense. Bell is one of the most underrated and best players in the NFL. He's a nightmare for Kansas City, and I foresee a lot of screaming at Josh Mauga. If the Chiefs hold Bell under 150 total yards, they win. If not, the postseason dream comes to an end.
Joel Thorman: Steelers 27, Chiefs 20
I could be convinced if this were at Arrowhead. This is just not a good matchup for the Chiefs. Can't wait for you to throw it back in my face when I'm wrong.
Matt Conner: Chiefs 20, Steelers 17
Both teams have promise. Both teams are also flawed in key spots. I'm trusting the coaching staff without Todd Haley on it.
Seth Keysor: Chiefs 30, Steelers 27
I just can't get past the image of Le'Veon Bell running for 200 yards. I don't think the Steelers abandon the run the way the Raiders did. That said, I picked against the Chiefs last week, so... 30-27, with Albert Wilson continuing to make us say, "hmmmm..."
Clay Wendler: Steelers 31, Chiefs 17
The Steelers are contenders, the Chiefs are pretenders, and they don't have the horses to stand up against the Steelers in a hostile environment on the road.
His Dirkness: Chiefs 27, Steelers 24
PAINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. Game-tying touchdown to Bowe and Cairo with the game-winning field goal in overtime as chants of Palko rain down from my couch.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5)
Who cares, both teams are 2-12. The game should be decided by which team can run out of the stadium and board the bus faster.
Pick: Jaguars 17, Titans 13
Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5) at Washington
Philadelphia (9-5) has to win this game, and it will. Washington (3-11) is a disgraceful football team which will see a ton of upheaval, again, this offseason. The Eagles probably won't make the postseason, but this is going to be a shelling.
Pick: Eagles 34, Washington 10
San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers (-1)
Very interesting game. San Diego (8-6) needs the game and San Francisco (7-7) has been eliminated, but the 49ers are the better team. Do Colin Kaepernick and the boys play with some heart or do they roll over? I'll side with the home team, because frankly it is tough to get a read on this one.
Pick: 49ers 23, Chargers 21
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers (NO LINE)
Cleveland (7-7) is going to be hard-pressed to win a game with Johnny Manziel at quarterback the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Carolina (5-8-1) is right in the middle of the NFC South "race" so it will be desperate for a win. This will be ugly no matter what.
Pick: Panthers 20, Browns 13
Detroit Lions (-9.5) at Chicago Bears
Chicago (5-9) has completely and utterly quit on Marc Trestman, and now the Jimmy Clausen show begins. Watching the Bears actually upsets me in the name of football. Detroit (10-4) has been solid all year and with the playoffs at stake, will absolutely brutalize Chicago.
Pick: Lions 33, Bears 7
Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) at Houston Texans
There is not a chance in hell Baltimore (9-5) loses this game to Houston (7-7). The Texans are deciding between Case Keenum and Thad Lewis at quarterback, who are both below Tom Savage on the depth chart. Wow.
Pick: Ravens 24, Texans 10
Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins (-7.5)
Miami (7-7) has fallen apart these past two weeks and likely cost Joe Philbin his job. Meanwhile, Minnesota (6-8) is better than expected, especially without Adrian Peterson. Still, the Dolphins are a good team and they will come out with some fight at home.
Pick: Dolphins 24, Vikings 13
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-7)
New Orleans (6-8) is the slightly better team and can all but clinch the NFC South with a win. Atlanta (5-9) can score and will put up points, but it probably won't be enough. Drew Brees and co. are going to have no problem shredding the worst secondary known to man.
Pick: Saints 37, Falcons 24
New England Patriots (-11.5) at New York Jets
New England (11-3) needs two more wins to ensure that the road to the Super Bowl goes through Gillette Stadium. In other words, New York (3-11) has no hope of pulling the upset. Rex Ryan normally comes up with some very creative ways to beat the Patriots, but this task is too great even for him.
Pick: Patriots 23, Jets 13
Green Bay Packers (-11.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is going to be fun, watching to see if the guy who operates the scoreboard can keep up. Green Bay (10-4) has to win in order to retain destiny over the NFC North. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay (2-12) is the biggest disaster on a football field since Tyler Palko. The line can't be high enough.
Pick: Packers 42, Buccaneers 10
New York Giants at St. Louis Rams (-5)
St. Louis (6-8) is a solid team, but it desperately needs a quarterback. New York (5-9) is not solid, but has a tremendously exciting player in Odell Beckham Jr. While both these teams are out of the race, there are reasons to believe for the fan bases heading into 2015.
Pick: Rams 23, Giants 17
Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys (-2.5)
This could be the best game of the week. Dallas (10-4) needs to win with the Eagles right behind it, but could be in tough position with a banged-up DeMarco Murray. It seems he will play, but will he hold onto the ball well with a broken finger? Indianapolis (10-4) doesn't have a ton to play for after locking up the division, but Andrew Luck won't go quickly into the night.
Pick: Cowboys 31, Colts 28
Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at Oakland Raiders
Can you imagine what Buffalo (8-6) is going to do to Oakland (2-12) with that defensive line? Hide your kids, hide your wife.
Pick: Bills 20, Raiders 10
Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Seattle (10-4) is going to crush Arizona (11-3) and take the NFC's top seed. The Seahawks are playing lights out the past two months, with only the Chiefs able to slow them. The Cardinals have been a great story, but Ryan Lindley will spell the death of them.
Pick: Seahawks 22, Cardinals 6
Denver Broncos (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati (9-4-1) realizes its worst fear when Denver (11-3) comes to town for a Monday night showdown: Andy Dalton under the lights.
Pick: Broncos 31, Bengals 13
Last Week: 12-4