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Week 17 AFC West Picks and Predictions: This Is For All The Marbles

This week, the fate of the AFC West title hangs in the balance as the two teams still in contention face the two teams looking to play spoiler. Kansas City enters Mile High to take on Tebow and the Broncos, while Philip Rivers and the Chargers must endure the Black Hole of Oakland.

Chargers @ Raiders: Last time these two teams met, the Raiders demolished the Chargers in San Diego. Carson Palmer had a terrific game and Philip Rivers looked lost. This week, the Raiders come off an overtime squeaker at Kansas City while the Chargers were slaughtered by Detroit. If the Raiders win, they will be very much alive in the playoff picture. I expect them to do just that. Raiders by two.

Chiefs @ Broncos: The Chiefs have been playing good football under Romeo Crennel, with a victory over Green Bay and a narrow loss to Oakland. The Broncos have in successive weeks been picked apart by New England and Buffalo in succession. Denver's strong defense has been exposed in the absence of Brian Dawkins. I expect Dwayne Bowe and Kyle Orton to have big days, but Tim Tebow will not give up easily. Kansas City will have to keep scoring to make Tebow put the ball in the air and force turnovers. That worked for New England and Buffalo and it will work for Kansas City as well. Chiefs by six.

This scenario means that Oakland will win the division, which would give them a home playoff game. However, it would undoubtedly make that game against the Steelers or Ravens, whereas if they got the Wild Card they would travel to Houston, a place they won at earlier in the year. I doubt it matters much as the Raiders don't appear to be well equipped to go deep into the playoffs, but as we saw last year with the Packers anything can happen once a team gets in.