NFL Picks Week 12: Denver Broncos Will Lead AFC West After Division Matchup

Michael Mill@@MikeMill23Senior Analyst IIINovember 26, 2011

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos drops back to pass against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Jets 17-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The AFC West may be the weakest division in all of football, but it also currently boasts the tightest playoff race in all of the NFL.

Right now the Oakland Raiders are leading the pack with a record of 6-4.

The Kansas City Chiefs round out the bottom of the division with a 4-6 record, only two games out of the lead.

Right in between are the Denver Broncos (5-5), who are on a hot streak with quarterback Tim Tebow, and the San Diego Chargers (4-6), who have dropped five straight after their bye in Week 6.

This weekend, the Broncos and Chargers face off in a game that could ultimately decide the outcome of the AFC West race.

It's a game that makes even the most dedicated football fan scratch their head.

San Diego is clearly the most talented team in the AFC West. It's baffling that they have dropped five straight games.

If they are going to turn things around and make a run at the playoffs, they can't lose this game. A loss will all but determine their fate for the season.

The Broncos, on the other hand, are probably the worst team on paper. They looked terrible to start the season, but have really turned things around in recent weeks with Tebow.

Although it's not the national perspective, not much of the winning has been because of Tebow.

In the Broncos four wins since Tebow has taken over as starter, the Denver defense has only allowed 15.5 points per game.

It's actually the improved defensive play that has allowed the Broncos to make this drastic turnaround.

The last time the Chargers won a game, it was in Week 5 when they played the Broncos. Tebow didn't start that game.

Actually, Tebow almost led a miraculous comeback when he was thrown into the game late.

Momentum means a lot in the NFL. The Broncos have that momentum, and they will continue to ride it in their win over San Diego.

The rest of the division has their work cut out for them.

Kansas City is set to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, who should have no problem dominating the Chiefs.

The Oakland Raiders have to deal with Matt Forte and the Chicago Bears.

Forte is a premiere running back in the league. Oakland is allowing a league worst 5.2 yards per carry to opposing rushers.

With an Oakland loss and Denver win, the division lead will be locked up at 6-5.

The tiebreaker goes to the Denver Broncos.

Who would have thought that after a 1-4 start that Tim Tebow could lead this Broncos team back to the top of the AFC West?

It's almost reality.