Steelers Chiefs Football

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) fumbles the ball as he is tackled by Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) during their game Sunday in Kansas City, Mo. Kelce recovered his fumble, but the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the season.

Just as the Kansas City Chiefs' loss last week proved no teams can be perfect, the members of our sports staff embodied human fallibility — particularly when it comes to to predicting NFL outcomes.

Kash, the harbor seal from Miller Park Zoo, got half of the 14 games right, and not a single one of our other five panelists could do any better.

Three of Kash's solo picks came through last week, as Pittsburgh knocked off the aforementioned and previously unbeaten Chiefs, Miami rallied to stun Atlanta and the Chargers won at Oakland. Those victories helped Kash move to 51-40 on the season and out of the cellar. 

That spot now belongs to Randy Reinhardt, who slipped a game behind Kash and Randy Sharer after a dismal 4-10 week. Not that his colleagues did much better; Sharer and overall leader Joe Deacon both went 5-9 while Randy Kindred and Jim Benson checked in at 6-8. Kindred now shares the lead with Deacon at 55-36, while Benson trails by three games. 

There may not be a lot of separation this week as the group agreed on seven teams: Kansas City, Buffalo, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Seattle, New England and Philadelphia. Two games produced an even 3-3 split, with the panel torn on New Orleans at Green Bay and the Rams at Arizona.

Kash only had one solo selection this week, going with the Jets over the Dolphins. Sharer thinks Cleveland and San Francisco both will finally crack the win column, while Deacon likes the Chargers over the Broncos. 

Want to play along? Click here to sign up and play in our Pro Football Challenge. And read below the chart for the Associated Press picks by Barry Wilner. 








Last week6-86-84-105-95-97-7
Season 55-3652-3950-4151-40 55-3651-40

No longer unbeaten, Kansas City now must concentrate on remaining atop the AFC West and, if the Chiefs can manage it, in front of the rest of the conference pack.

The first step toward that comes Thursday night at Oakland, not exactly a favorite destination for the Chiefs through the years.

Except that recently, KC doesn't lose within the division. Andy Reid's crew has won 12 in a row against the AFC West, five straight and seven of the past eight against the Raiders. Most of those wins weren't close.

"I wish I had the secret," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith says. "I'm sure it's a ton of things. It's ultimately about the 53 guys. It's about us scratching and fighting and clawing for the smallest of little victories that end up being the difference to winning these games, because the margins are so small."

With road teams winning more than they have lost this season (45-44), which hasn't happened over a full schedule since the 1970 merger, the natural pick is the Chiefs.

With this being one of the great, longstanding pro football rivalries, it's hard to pick against the host Raiders. Then again, there is that string of wins for Kansas City. CHIEFS, 27-21

KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP: Another nail-biter, this time the Ravens rallying, then falling against the Bears. Pro Picks gets knocked out again. Still, we march on with the RAMS.

Tennessee at Cleveland: Marcus Mariota showed so much Monday night, so we'll climb aboard Titans bandwagon. BEST BET: TITANS, 27-12

Washington at Philadelphia: Winner of this one on Monday night takes control of NFC East. Going with visitor given current trend. UPSET SPECIAL: REDSKINS, 28-27

Dallas at San Francisco: Niners play close games, then lose them. COWBOYS, 22-20

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: Steelers turned it on for a while against KC, but rested Bengals will test them. STEELERS, 26-23

Atlanta at New England: Super Bowl rematch, neither team looking super. PATRIOTS, 33-30

Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona (at London): Much better matchup than anyone could have expected Twickenham to host. RAMS, 27-20

Seattle at New York Giants: Giants won't bite Seahawks in way they did Broncos. SEAHAWKS, 17-14

Jacksonville at Indianapolis: Can't figure Jaguars, but know Colts have little without Luck. JAGUARS, 19-13

Baltimore at Minnesota: Can't support Ravens right now. VIKINGS, 20-13

New York Jets at Miami: Jets tend to play well against Dolphins. So should be close. DOLPHINS, 24-20

Carolina at Chicago: Despite loss to Eagles last week, we like what Panthers are showing. PANTHERS, 26-16

New Orleans at Green Bay: Wonder what spread would be if A-Rod was healthy and playing. SAINTS, 27-17

Denver at Los Angeles Chargers: Chargers won two straight road games. Of course, nearly everyone is winning on road. CHARGERS, 28-27

Tampa Bay at Buffalo: With Winston, we'd probably like Bucs. Without him, who knows? BILLS, 17-13

2017 RECORD: Last week: 7-7; Season: 53-38; Best Bet: 4-2; Upset special: 6-0.



Assistant Sports Editor

Assistant Sports Editor for The Pantagraph.

Load comments