NFL picks, Week 15: KC Chiefs seriously need a win over Patriots

Week 15 of the NFL slate is officially here, and we're here every week of the season to bring you picks for the Chiefs along with the rest of the NFL!

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs
Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

Talk about a letdown. After a season full of keeping our heads above water and continuing to compete week in and week out, we finally fell flat on our faces. What a disappointment. The season is basically over at this point.

Of course, I'm talking about my 6-9 performance last week in the picks column. But if you're like the rest of Chiefs Kingdom online, you probably assumed I was talking about the Kansas City Chiefs. After their disappointing (and somewhat controversial, depending on who you ask) loss to the Buffalo Bills last weekend, the sky officially fell for Chiefs' Twitter. Coaches need to be fired, players need to be cut, GMs are failures—even Patrick Mahomes is catching sizable amounts of criticism for a fan base that should be eternally grateful that he exists.

I'm not buying it. I may be the only person in the Kansas City metro and Chiefs Kingdom as a whole who is on this bandwagon (I know I'm not), but I'm staying positive. Have these losses in 4 of the last 6 weeks been disappointing? Oh, hell yes. Do I hate it? Yes. But am I spelling doom and gloom for a team that over and over again has fallen down and risen back up to some of the greatest heights and performances we've seen in modern NFL football? Absolutely not.

The Chiefs are the type of team that thrives off of doubt from the outside. Look no further than Travis Kelce's Super Bowl parade address a season ago, or Mitch Holthus' call at the end of the AFC Championship game last year. You can doubt the Chiefs, you can dislike the Chiefs, you can disrespect the Chiefs—all things that are being done right now on the home front as well as across the country—but dammit, you're going to have to deal with the Chiefs. A truly pissed-off Patrick Mahomes is something we haven't seen yet, so buckle up.

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots

There are two ways to look at this, but neither of them includes this being a "they'll still be ok if they don't win" game for the Chiefs. Don't be mistaken—this is a must-win for all involved in Kansas City for multiple reasons. But it is without question also a "should-win" game. What could get in the way of that happening?

Reports started surfacing yesterday about the Patriots and long-time, legendary head coach Bill Belichick parting ways after the end of the 2023 season. Yes, this would represent the end of an era where Belichick led the Patriots to 6 Super Bowl championships in 9 appearances while catapulting himself into not just the title of greatest coach of all time, but the gold standard for which NFL coaches will be judged moving forward. A departure would surely conjure some inspiration from the players who he has led to a disappointing 3-10 record so far this year, right? Surely his defensive prowess is still prominent enough to give a struggling Chiefs offense issues.

Stand back and let me cook. If you think for one second that a Bailey Zappe-led offense is going to do anything against this version of the Chiefs' defense that could even remotely threaten the fire that Mahomes and the Chiefs' offensive unit are going to come out with on Sunday you're delusional. Are the Chiefs down? Sure. Are they out? No, and I am anticipating a vicious bounce back at the hands of the hapless Patriots this weekend. The Chiefs took the crown from Belichick and New England long ago, this is no longer a rivalry - this is a get-right game. Chiefs 34, Patriots 10

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders

Justin Herbert is out for the season and at this point, they may be charging Brandon Staley rent for his office. Make no mistake about it, he will more than likely be evicted at season's end. Color me shocked that we're going into another off-season talking about another letdown from a once-hyped Chargers team. Easton Stick? Not a chance. Raiders 23, Chargers 9

Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals

The carriage is officially a pumpkin, the Josh Dobbs magic is over. Cincinnati is still good and squarely in the playoff picture. They won't get any further out of frame this weekend. Bengals 27, Vikings 13

Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts

If the season ended today the Chiefs would play the Steelers in the wild-card round of the playoffs. That sounds awesome. A win by Indy here and no change in the top 3 seeds this week would mean the Chiefs would play the Colts in the first round. That would also be awesome. Neither of these things means anything when it comes to this game other than both of these teams are pretty average. The Steelers can't score, the Colts can. Colts 23, Steelers 16

Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions

Remember when we all hated the Lions after Week 1? How dare they come into Arrowhead and be proud of a win when the Chiefs were missing Travis Kelce and Chris Jones? The nerve. Well, I'm a huge Lions guy this weekend. Not only do we need them to win to have some breathing room in the West, but the Lions need a win like an auctioneer needs a fast tongue. They have looked subpar the last 4 weeks, and if they want to keep pace in the NFC playoff race they have to get back on track now. I think they will, and luckily they face a Denver team whose weakness (their offense) is butting up against Detroit's weakness (their defense). Lions 27, Broncos 23

Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns

Alright, so Cleveland blasted Jacksonville last weekend behind an elite performance from Joe Flacco. Turn back the clock ladies and gentlemen, Flacco made it feel like 2012 again. But the Bears are silently becoming more and more competitive, and their young defense is looking more and more advantageous. Much like in 2012, the end of the world likely will not come on Sunday, but it doesn't take a Mayan to predict that when a Bear and an elf square off the Bear has the advantage. I like Chicago. Bears 28, Browns 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers

The Battle of the Bays returns in an edition where we have no clue whether or not either team is good, but we know that one of them will likely make the NFC playoffs which is... something. I like the Pack at home in December almost always. Packers 20, Buccaneers 17

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Zach Wilson has arrived. Well, not really, but the Jets beat the brakes off of Houston last week and their defense is still as dangerous as ever. Can they beat the Dolphins, though? If the Titans can, who knows? I am hoping one way and predicting another in this one. Dolphins 24, Jets 17

New York Giants at New Orleans Saints

Tommy DeVito is quite possibly the most famous New Jersey-an on the planet right now, and I'm not sure entirely what that means. The Giants have some spunk with this kid, and the Saints have to be one of the most depressing teams in the league right now simply because of the Derek Carr factor. The man has like 6 broken ribs and they keep trotting him out there. What's it going to take to get Jameis snaps? Tommy DeVito rolls on. Giants 20, Saints 18

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

Who cares? Bears fans, that's who. They can root for the Bears to continue to win while they watch the Panthers lock in that number 1 overall pick for them week by week. A win-win. Falcons 9, Panthers 6

Washington Commanders at Los Angeles Rams

If you didn't believe in the Rams before, you shouldn't after a loss, right? Last week's overtime loss to the Ravens in terrible weather on the road is one of the best losses you can take as a fringe playoff team against the current top dogs in a superior conference. The Commanders don't stand much of a chance here. Rams 24, Commanders 19

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals just need to avoid any catastrophic injuries the their franchise players, if they have any. 49ers 36, Cardinals 13

Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills

Buffalo is riding an emotional high after a thrilling win against Kansas City last weekend that kept them in the playoff picture. The Cowboys are riding an emotional high after a blowout win over the Eagles last Sunday night. So who falls victim to the classic letdown spot? Don't look now, but the Bills are on the verge of becoming the team that no one wants to see. Bills 23, Cowboys 20

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars

This game means a lot to Chiefs fans. But should we be pulling for the Jags to keep pace with the Chiefs, or for Baltimore to lull themselves into a false sense of confidence just to have Miami and San Francisco crush their dreams in the season's last three weeks? Jacksonville has been an enigma of sorts this year, and this just feels like a game they are going to shock the world in, which goes very much in the favor of their friends in Kansas City. Jaguars 24, Ravens 23

Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are falling apart and D.K. Metcalf is becoming more and more malcontent as the season progresses. Philadelphia is vulnerable right now, but coming off of back-to-back embarrassing whomping at the hands of the other two top dogs in the NFC has to have them ready for a different bird to be the main course. Eagles 34, Seahawks 25