Pete Prisco's NFL Week 14 Picks: Chiefs' collapse will continue in messy AFC West

How the AFC West was won?

Can we really say that considering the way things have played out? The division is a mess right now, with three 6-6 teams tied at the top and all three having had periods of dreadful play this season.

The Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs somehow find themselves tied with four weeks to go, even though the Chiefs started 5-0 and the Chargers started 0-4.

The final four weeks will be fun, starting this week in Kansas City when the Chiefs play host to the Raiders. Kansas City has lost four straight games, including the last three to mighty Giants, Bills and Jets, as it tries to hold on to the top spot.

The offense was to blame for much of the Chiefs' fall from the fast start, but the defense has been a major issue all season long. That unit will need to step up against the Raiders this week, even if Oakland's offense hasn't come close to looking like the 2016 unit.

The Chargers will host the Washington Redskins this week, which is a game the Chargers should win, setting up a fun three-game stretch run in the AFC West.

I think the Raiders will beat the Chiefs this week because that Kansas City defense is so bad right now. 

Which of the three teams is the scariest for potential playoff opponents? It's clearly the Chargers, who have a big-time passer in Philip Rivers and a dynamic pair of pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

The Chiefs would be third on my list now. But a victory over Oakland could change their path.

If they don't win this week, that 5-0 open to the season will seem so long ago you'd think Len Dawson started those games.

Indianapolis at Buffalo

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

This is a game between two teams going nowhere. The Colts are playing consecutive road games, but the Bills might start Nathan Peterman at quarterback for the injured Tyrod Taylor. Even so, I think the Bills will find a way to win a close one. 

Pick: Bills 28, Colts 23


Minnesota at Carolina 

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

This is one of the games of the week. The Vikings are playing consecutive road games outside the division, which is tough. I think that will catch up with them here. I think the Panthers get back on track after losing to the Saints. Cam Newton has a big day with his legs.

Pick: Panthers 19, Vikings 16


Chicago at Cincinnati

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

The Bengals blew a chance Monday night to stay in the playoff race by losing to the Steelers, but now must re-group on a short week. The defense has been solid this year, and I think that will present problems for Mitchell Trubisky

Pick: Bengals 27, Bears 17


Green Bay at Cleveland

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Could this be the week the Browns win? I don't think so. The Packers will need more from Brett Hundley in the passing game than they got against the Bucs, but I think they will get it. Packers take it in a close one. 

Pick: Packers 23, Browns 20


San Francisco at Houston

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

The 49ers won in Jimmy Garoppolo's first start, but this is a second straight road game. That's tough, and the Texans will be home for the first time in three weeks. Tom Savage played better last week against the Titans and I think that carries over. Texans win it.

Pick: Texans 17, 49ers 13


Seattle at Jacksonville

4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

This focus of this game will be the Jaguars defense against Russell Wilson. But I think the other matchup – Jacksonville's offense against the Seattle defense – will decide this one. Blake Bortles played well against the Colts last week, and I think it will carry over here. It won't be as good, but good enough. The Jaguars win a low-scoring game. 

Pick: Jaguars 20, Seahawks 14


Oakland at Kansas City

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

These two are tied for first place in the division. But the Chiefs have lost four straight and have fallen apart on defense. The Raiders haven't been great on offense, but they will get Derek Carr going here. The Raiders win in a shootout. 

Pick: Raiders 33, Chiefs 30


Detroit at Tampa Bay

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

The health of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford bears watching after he injured his hand last week. Even if he plays, this is a consecutive road game for a team not playing well. Tampa Bay will play better on offense this week against a Lions defense that made Joe Flacco look good last week. Jameis Winston will lead the Bucs to a home victory. 

Pick: Bucs 27, Lions 24


Tennessee at Arizona

4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)

This is a tough trip for the Titans, who aren't playing great but are still winning. Arizona didn't look good against the Rams Sunday, but I think it gets back on track here. Its defense will be the difference. Cardinals take it. 

Pick: Cardinals 23, Titans 21


New York Jets at Denver

4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)

The Jets have overachieved, while the Broncos have underachieved. Why? It's the quarterback play. Josh McCown has been good for the Jets, while the Broncos have been a disaster at the position. But I think Denver's defense shows some pride here and they pull out a close one. 

Pick: Broncos 20, Jets 16


Washington at Los Angeles Chargers

4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)

The Redskins are pretty much done, and this is a long trip. The Chargers are a hot team right now. Philip Rivers is playing good football and I think he will hit a few big shots against the Redskins. Washington won't keep up. 

Pick: Chargers 31, Redskins 21


Philadelphia at Los Angeles Rams

4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

This is the game of the week and a big game in terms of NFC seeding. The Eagles didn't play well at Seattle last week, and they stayed on the West Coast to practice to cut down on jet lag. That will help, but I think the improved Rams defense will show up and slow Carson Wentz while Jared Goff gets the best of it. Rams win it. 

Pick: Rams 23, Eagles 20


Dallas at New York Giants

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

This should be Eli Manning back under center playing for interim coach Steve Spagnuolo for the Giants. This is New York's Super Bowl, but they aren't good enough. The Cowboys got the running game back on track last week, and it continues. Cowboys stay alive. 

Pick: Cowboys 24, Giants 14


Baltimore at Pittsburgh

8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

The Steelers are playing on a short week and had to scrape to beat the Bengals Monday night. The Ravens got the offense going last week against the Texans, which is a good sign. As usual, this will be a tough AFC North game, but the Steelers will pull it out in the fourth quarter. 

Pick: Steelers 20, Ravens 17


New England at Miami

Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

The Patriots have traditionally had problems in South Florida. Not this week. New England is playing a second straight road game, but it won't matter, even without Rob Gronkowski. Miami was better last week, but the Patriots are the pick. 

Pick: Patriots 31, Dolphins 17


New Orleans at Atlanta

Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET (NFL Network)

If the Falcons are to have any chance to win the division, they have to win here. They didn't look good on offense last week against the Vikings, but they will get the offense back on track. The Saints will keep up as well with Drew Brees. I expect a shootout like a lot of games between these two. Enjoy the fireworks. 

Pick: Falcons 31, Saints 27 ... Result: Falcons 20, Saints 17 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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