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AFC West Week 14: Chiefs Go For Two Straight

The Denver Broncos locked up the AFC West title a week ago and they continued their incredible eight-game winning streak this week with a win over Oakland, leaving only two games in the AFC West remaining for the weekend. While the Chiefs will certainly not be making a playoff appearance this season, the Chargers are not mathematically eliminated from contention, but a playoff berth would be near impossible. So what do these two teams have left to play for? Other than pride, the Chiefs are looking to piece together a season marred by tragedy, while the Chargers are simply hoping to finish strong. And of course, there’s always betting opportunities, which make the games interesting whether there’s a big story line or not. Here is a quick look at each of the two games in the AFC West today.

Kansas City Chiefs 2-10 at Cleveland Browns 4-8

The Chiefs may not be able to fully heal from all that has gone awry this season, on and off the field, for quite some time, but football will go on, as they take on the Cleveland Browns today. The Chiefs were able to break their losing streak last week with a much-needed victory over the Panthers, but can they start a new streak and make it two in a row?

Hillis may find running room against his former team

Peyton Hillis will face his old squad today, a team that he had much bigger role with in the last couple of seasons. It’s been a frustrating year for Hillis and the Chiefs in general, as he rushed for just 193 yards so far this season. However, Kansas City will certainly look to run the ball against a Browns team that is allowing nearly 120 yards per game on the ground.

Likewise, the Browns will look to attack the Chiefs front seven, a group that ranks 26th in the league in rush defense, with rookie back Trent Richardson. That was an aspect of the game Cleveland had some success with in last week’s win over the Oakland Raiders.

The Browns have actually won two games coming into this weekend’s contest and even in recent losses, have played and looked much better than they did early in the season. I think the Browns will win, but I like the Chiefs to cover +7 points today. I think they will play inspired football once again and keep this game close.

San Diego Chargers 4-8 at Pittsburgh Steelers 7-5

Big Ben is back and he should outperform Philip Rivers at home

Although there aren’t many realistic scenarios involving the Chargers making the playoffs, they are not quite out of it yet. However, they need to start this week with a win on the road against a Steelers team that will see the return of its leader and star, Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers proved they can win without him, beating the Ravens last week with third-stringer Charlie Batch under center. So, you would naturally assume that they will play even better with Big Ben, a player who is used to playing under pressure and with injuries.

However, the real challenge for the Chargers will be holding on the ball and scoring against the stout Pittsburgh defense. The Chargers have had turnover issues to say the least this season and are currently ranked in the bottom half of the league in rush and pass offense.

This is another game in which I like the favorite to win, but I do think the underdog will at least cover. Take the Chargers to cover +8 in the loss, which will officially eliminate them from the playoff hunt.


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