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Week 17 NFL Picks And Predictions: Broncos Vs. Chiefs Provides Denver Opportunity To Win AFC West

The Denver Broncos need to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs to safely win the AFC West title.

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For the Denver Broncos the only game that really matters this week is their own against the Kansas City Chiefs. That New Year's Day encounter in the Mile High City is not a true win-and-in playoffs situation for the Broncos since the team could still lose the game and win the AFC West as long as the Oakland Raiders lose the game. There are also scenarios that could give the Raiders a Wild Card spot if they and the Broncos win. They are:

1) OAK win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie
2) OAK win + CIN loss + NYJ win

Let's make some predictions on what will happen in the AFC West as well as other games that will determine the AFC West's first-round opponent:

Broncos vs. Chiefs: Kyle Orton returns to Mile High a month after the Broncos released him. With nothing left on the line for the Chiefs, Orton has nothing to lose in this contest. It's the situation he might excel the best in at this point in his career. Tim Tebow and the Broncos are looking to show that the previous two losses have been bumps in the road. Tebow can't throw four interceptions in a game nor can his teammates turn the ball over, as they did against the New England Patriots a couple of weeks ago (Tebow having one of them). PICK: BRONCOS

Chargers vs. Raiders: The Raiders went into San Diego in early November and came away with a 24-17 victory. Michael Bush rushed the ball 30 times for 157 yards. Can he repeat that performance once again? He may need to if Darren McFadden isn't able to make a late return for the season. The Chargers are out of playoff contention and looking to finish 8-8. PICK: CHARGERS

Ravens vs. Bengals: If the Ravens win, they win the AFC North and force the Steelers to take the No. 1 AFC Wild Card spot. If the Bengals win, they will take the final AFC Wild Card position. But a Ravens loss doesn't guarantee the Steelers the top spot in the division. PICK: BENGALS

Steelers vs. Browns: A Steelers win combined with a Ravens loss provides Pittsburgh with the AFC North crown. That moves the Ravens into the first Wild Card spot and Wild Card weekend game against either the Broncos or the Raiders (in this scenario, the Broncos). PICK: STEELERS

For more on this Week 17 game, visit Broncos blog Mile High Report and Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride. Be sure to check out SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.