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AFC West Week 12 Preview

With just six games remaining in the regular season for teams in the AFC West, week 12 might signify the last chance for the ones trailing in the division to make any sort of move to attempt to catch the Broncos, who have been galloping away with the division title and a playoff berth, winning their last five games. They have established a commanding three game lead over second place San Diego, but the Chargers are known for just that, late season charges, and if San Diego can pick up a game this week, it may be able to make the West a race again. Here are the match-ups this week and the point spread picks.

Oakland Raiders 3-7 at Cincinnati Bengals 5-5

The Raiders have the task of tangling with the fearsome, young Bengals squad who have quite a bit more to play for at this point. The Raiders would have to be perfect the rest of the way to even think about the playoffs and it has to start this week for them on the road.

Carson Palmer will lead the Raiders and one of the league’s best passing attacks (7th) against his former team today, who defend the pass fairly well (14th). However, where Oakland should really struggle will be on the other side of the ball, as it attempts to defend the young and fast Bengals offense. Oakland hasn’t defended the run (22nd) or the pass (24th) particularly well, so expect the Bengals to find plenty to exploit as they put up loads of points at home.

However, the spread of 10 still seems to large for the Bengals to cover. Although the Raiders are only 3-7 and many of their losses have come by more than 10, I expect them to come out swinging as they defend their slim playoff hopes. I also expect Palmer to play inspired ball against his former squad. Take the Bengals to win, but the Raiders to cover +10.

Denver Broncos 7-3 at Kansas City Chiefs 1-9

Von Miller and the Broncos will terrorize the Chiefs today

On paper this one certainly looks like a blowout. Denver comes in as one of the league’s hottest teams, winners of five straight with a rejuvenated Peyton Manning, who is playing like the MVP once again. On the other side are the Chiefs, a team that has dropped seven straight has failed to win a game at home, where they are playing today.

Not only has Denver been stellar with the ball, but on defense as well. The pass rush of the orange crush leads the league with 35 sacks on the year, 13 of which have been recorded by Von Miller and seven of those have occurred in the last three games. The speedy Broncos front seven will surely get after the Chiefs and cause more problems for KC moving the ball.

Although Denver will be without starting running back Willis McGahee, they have too many weapons on offense and defense for the Chiefs to handle. Take Denver to continue to dominate and cover -11 points today.

The Ravens should have their way with the Bolts

Baltimore Ravens 8-2 at San Diego Chargers 4-6

We all know the Chargers are capable of making a run. They’ve done it plenty of times before and they need to get something started this week, or else it will be too late. They’ll likely have a tough time against a high-powered Ravens offense that is averaging 26.7 points per game.

Philip Rivers’ 14 INTs have killed them this season, but when San Diego has held onto the ball, its been effective, scoring more than 23 points per game and averaging nearly 230 yards per game through the air. The Chargers will have to contend with All-Pro Ed Reed, who was ruled eligible for today’s game.

San Diego’s flaws will be too much to overcome today even at home. Take the Ravens to cover -1 points and earn another big win.


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