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Rocky’s World: Who Chiefs fans should be rooting for this weekend

Want to know which outcomes of this weekend's games benefit the Chiefs the most, well then we got you covered.

NFL: DEC 26 Steelers at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s that time of year again

Happy Ryan Fitzpatrick Week!

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know — the second anniversary of Ryan Fitzpatrick becoming a folk hero to Kansas City Chiefs fans was technically last week. But in the spirit of the last-week-of-the-regular-season holiday, I thought we could look at the best possible outcomes for the Chiefs this weekend.

Spoiler alert: It’s going to take a lot of teams choking against lesser competition.

Unlike last season, the Chiefs do not control their own destiny for playoff seeding; they need some help to reclaim the AFC’s first playoff seed — and the bye that goes along with it.

These are not predictions of what I think will happen, but rather, what outcomes would benefit the Chiefs the most.

So without further ado, here we go!

KC @ DEN: Kansas City WINS — The first thing the Chiefs have to do is take care of business.

Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs Set Number: X163433

How it happens:

The Chiefs have been the better team all year. The Chiefs’ strength is their passing attack. The Broncos' strength is their secondary led by star safety Justin Simmons and a pair of young cornerbacks in Patrick Surtain II and Michael Ojemudia (but Surtain has been ruled out). On paper, this Broncos defense looks intimidating, and it was at one point this season. But as we saw last week against the Chargers, this is not the same defense that the Broncos fielded earlier in the season. This team looks tired.

I would expect the Chiefs to use a balanced attack early on and get Darrell Williams involved heavily in the run game out of the gate to get the Broncos to cheat up to the line a little bit. Then, at that point, I expect Andy Reid to dial up a few signature shots down the field and take the top off of them. This is a game where defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo can go as wild as he wants with the blitz because Drew Lock crumbles under pressure.

Note: If both Kansas City and Houston win their games, the Chiefs will clinch the No. 1 seed and get the first-round bye in the playoffs.

TENN @ HOU: Houston WINS — The Chiefs need the Texans to win the Houston Oilers Bowl.

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

How it happens:

The Tennessee Titans have not been the same team since Derrick Henry went down with a broken foot. Over his last three starts, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is averaging just 160 yards in the air. Without Henry, the Titans' offense looks one-dimensional. Houston quarterback Davis Mills isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, but he has led them to victory in two of their last three games.

If I were Texans head coach (and former Chiefs wideouts coach) Dave Culley, I would line up in dime defense the entire game and double team AJ Brown and Julio Jones on the outside. Tannehill is very adept at knowing when to tuck the ball and run, but I would rather give up an 8-yard rush to the quarterback and shut down Brown than let Tennessee’s wide receivers run rampant in the secondary.

PITT @ BAL: Pittsburgh WINS — Keep the Big Ben farewell tour going.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

How it happens:

These Baltimore Ravens are a completely different team without Lamar Jackson at the helm. Aside from edge rusher TJ Watt, this Pittsburgh Steelers team is as basic as they come. The name of the game for the Steelers is keeping the Ravens within seven points.

Watt is only two sacks away from beating Michael Strahan’s all-time sack record. If the Steelers can keep consistent pressure on Ravens backup quaterback Tyler Huntley all day, Watt not only stand a chance at the sack title but also, the Steelers will most likely force a few turnovers and win the battle of field position; if all of this happens, Pittsburgh could walk away with a win.

CIN @ CLE: Cleveland WINS— The Browns bring home the Buckeye title belt.

NFL: NOV 07 Browns at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How it happens:

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is on injured reserve. The star running back duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are both banged up. Neither of these things bode well for a Browns team that is going up against one of the more potent offenses in the NFL. However, Browns' backup quarterback Case Keenum does have experience starting in big games. Luckily, the Bengals will be resting quarterback Joe Burrow in this contest as well, choosing to start backup Brandon Allen in his place. The Bengals love to play nickel defense, but there is a huge dropoff in their defensive backs once you get past Chidobe Awuzie.

Trae Waynes and Jesse Bates III have both struggled in coverage this year. I would line Anthony Schwartz up in the slot and hit him on quick slants and jet sweeps all day. On the defensive side of the ball. The Bengals showed us last week that their offensive line is terrible. Myles Garrett should be able to devour these guys. He should be able to make Allen uncomfortable enough to force him into making at least a handful of mistakes. The key will be whether Cleveland can turn these errors into points on the board.

IND @ JAX: Jacksonville WINS — The Jags play themselves out of the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

How it happens:

There is very little motivation for the Jacksonville Jaguars to win this game. If they lose, they lock up the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft. If they win, the Detroit Lions get the first pick, and they fall to No. 2. That being said, interim coach Darrell Bevell is not going to be retained after this season. At this point, the players on this roster have nothing to lose, making them dangerous. Defensively, Indianapolis is very good up front, but their secondary is mediocre.

The Jags' strength is their receiving corps. I think Jacksonville should go full YOLO mode and pass the ball 55 times this game and see where the young arms of Trevor Lawrence can take them. If it works, and you put up a lot of points, then this plays away from the Colts' strength on offense which is their running game — and that forces Carson Wentz to win the game.

LAC @ LV: Las Vegas WINS — As much as it pains us, the Chiefs want the Raiders to win this week.

Los Angeles Chargers Play Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium Photo by Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

How it happens:

These two teams are a lot closer in talent than you would expect. The Los Angeles Chargers have a history of folding late in the season and already have a couple of bad losses under their belt this year against Houston and Minnesota. This is the closest Derek Carr has been to sniffing the playoffs since his lone appearance in 2016 in the Wild Card round. With a new head coach coming in next year, there is no guarantee that he will retain his position moving forward.

If Carr wants to make a postseason run with the Las Vegas Raiders, it’s now or never. That being said, the Raiders should keep the ball on the ground in this one and keep Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert on the sidelines as much as possible. The right side of the Chargers defense is swiss cheese, so I would run Josh Jacobs to that side and work to get the ball to Hunter Renfrow in space.

NYJ @ BUF: Buffalo WINS — The Bills are the only favorites we want to win this week.

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

How it happens:

The Buffalo Bills are the better team in every facet of this game. All they have to do is not shoot themselves in the foot like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly did last week. Josh Allen should have no problem feasting on this lowly New York Jets defense. The Jets linebackers are so bad that you might actually see the Bills run the ball in this one, just to get this bloodbath over quicker.

The AFC Wild Card round

  • Chiefs bye week
  • No. 2 Titans vs. No. 7 Steelers
  • No. 3 Bills vs. No. 6 Raiders
  • No. 4 Bengals vs. No. 5 Patriots

In this scenario, at the very worst, the Chiefs would play the Bengals again in two weeks' time. In the best-case scenario, they would get to play the Steelers once more.

If this miracle scenario plays out, Chiefs fans would feel very good about them winning and making another run at the Super Bowl. Above all else, if you remember one thing outside of the Chiefs game this weekend, it’s this:


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