Perhaps the leading storyline as we get into the final weeks of the NFL season is the AFC West.
After starting the season hot and going 5-0, the Kansas City Chiefs have absolutely fallen on their faces.
Now, the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers are right on their heels after both winning their Week 13 contests. Yup, they're all 6-6.
It's amazing, in a good and bad way.
The New York Jets are also clinging to life, too, following a win over the Chiefs in Week 13.
They need a quite a few things to go their way, but they aren't out of yet and get the Denver Broncos (a likely win) in Week 14.
Below are the picks for Week 14. We'll also look at some more storylines surrounding the league.
Week 14 Picks
- New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Thursday): Saints 27-21
- Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals: Bengals 23-13
- Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills: Colts 18-14
- San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans: Texans 20-17
- Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns: Packers 24-21
- Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers: Vikings 28-18
- Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lions 23-21
- Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs: Chiefs 27-24
- Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants: Cowboys 26-13
- New York Jets at Denver Broncos: Jets 24-10
- Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Chargers: Chargers 27-26
- Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals: Titans 20-14
- Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars: Jaguars 23-21
- Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams: Eagles 24-23
- Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday Night): Steelers 21-13
- New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (Monday): Patriots 33-14
If Packers Win, Will QB Aaron Rodgers Return?
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Green Bay Packers are targeting a Week 15 return for Rodgers, pending the Packers' playoff chances and clearance from the medical staff.
This prompts the question: If the Packers win in Week 14 and improve to 7-6, is that good enough for Rodgers to return?
It seems so.
Going by the predictions above, they'll be the eighth seed, trailing the Atlanta Falcons (who would be the sixth seed) and the Detroit Lions (seventh seed).
The last three games of the Packers season are at the Carolina Panthers, at home against the Minnesota Vikings and at the Detroit Lions.
All three of those games will more than likely require Rodgers being active to win. Should the Packers and Falcons both win out, they'll be in the playoffs as the fifth and sixth seed, respectively.
Of course, that's easier said than done, but the Packers will be in the thick of things.
Can you imagine if the Packers are without Rodgers most of the season and he comes back late in the regular season, seals a wild-card spot and wins a Super Bowl?
So, yes, the Packers need to beat the Browns. If they win, Rodgers is back. If they lose, I'm not sure the Packers will find a realistic way to get in.
The AFC West Race (Debacle)
As it was briefly mentioned earlier, the AFC West is absolutely bonkers at the moment.
Heading into Week 14, the Kansas City Chiefs hold the division lead. Narrowly.
Every team in the AFC West is 6-6 except for the Broncos.
That includes the Raiders, who have been up and down all season, and the Chargers, who started off the season 0-4.
There are three games remaining this season between these three teams: Week 14 (Raiders at Chiefs), Week 15 (Chargers at Chiefs) and Week 17 (Raiders at Chargers).
The Chiefs hold the tiebreaker over both teams, but the way that they've been going, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the Raiders or Chargers take over.
Should the Chargers make the playoffs, they'll be the second team in history to start the season 0-4 and make it.
The other? The Chargers in 1992.
Could the Jets Make the Playoffs?
Under the guidance of the 38-year-old quarterback Josh McCown, there is still hope for the Jets to make the postseason.
However, they have a tough stretch of opponents after Week 14.
Week 14 is a game they may win, on the road against a Denver Broncos that have essentially conceded the 2017 season after now being 3-9.
In the remaining three weeks, the Jets will face the Saints, Chargers and Patriots, respectively.
All three of those teams want to continue winning, too. The Patriots want the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Saints want to keep pace and hope to land a top-two seed and the Chargers, like the Jets, want to get, at a minimum, a wild-card playoff spot.
Should the Jets lose even one game over the next four weeks, it's essentially over for them.
Their journey continues in Week 14 against the Broncos—a winnable game.