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NFL Week 16 Picks: Can The Bengals Get Past The Broncos?

Mario Mergola makes picks against the spread for every week 16 NFL matchup.

Jeremy Hill

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)

The AFC playoff race is about to get incredibly exciting.

The AFC North, arguably the most hotly contested division in football, could conceivably be decided in a Week 17 showdown between the Bengals and Steelers. The Chiefs, eliminated from AFC West contention, sit outside the bubble of current playoff teams and chase their opponent on Sunday in what may become a Wild Card tiebreaker scenario. This game, therefore, has a ripple effect throughout the conference, regardless of outcome.

Almost everything across the board suggests that Sunday’s matchup should be close from start to finish — in fact, four of the last five games the Steelers have played were decided by one score or less, except their blowout in Cincinnati, and even that was a three-point game until the fourth quarter. But the Steelers’ offense, leading the league in yards, has been able to win games attacking through the air and on the ground. With running back Le’Veon Bell rushing for over 500 yards and scoring six touchdowns in his last four games, the Steelers will find the Chiefs’ biggest weakness, a rush defense allowing the second-most yards in the league.

Pittsburgh wins by six, covers, and clinches a playoff berth, setting up an AFC North title game next Sunday against the Bengals.

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