Chiefs vs. Chargers 2013 picks and predictions: Experts favoring Philip Rivers and San Diego

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Despite playing the final game in Kansas City, and the Chiefs' sterling record, experts are leaning a bit more toward the Chargers in Week 17.

The San Diego Chargers will pull off a minor NFL miracle if they make the 2013 NFL playoffs, having come back from the dead to potentially win the second AFC wild card, but perhaps beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17 would only be a small part of that miracle.

Still, if they are going to win a postseason berth, there's no question that they need to beat the Chiefs on the road. Can they do it?

Well, the Chargers have won four of their last five games, and that hot streak was kicked off by beating the Chiefs, 41-38, in Week 12. At 8-7 with one game to go, if Philip Rivers can lead San Diego to a win over Kansas City, plus get help from some other teams, then the Chargers be headed to the playoffs.

The Chiefs already know they're headed to the playoffs, and that they're locked into the number five seed, meaning there is nothing for them to play for other than pride. Is that more important than keeping their star players healthy? Probably not, and perhaps that is having a large effect on how the experts are picking this week. Because most of them are leaning toward San Diego.

Here at SB Nation, four of five panelists are picking the Chargers to win. That trend is no different at CBS Sports, where all eight experts are saying that San Diego will get the win to improve to 9-7. Panelists at ESPN are also leaning heavily toward the Chargers, although there's still a few left that believe that Chiefs will get the win.

Yahoo Sports is also going with San Diego.

By the time their afternoon game rolls around, the Chargers will know whether or not they have something to lose. Kansas City already knows it can't help themselves by winning and would only hurt themselves by losing a player to injury. For that reason, it seems like most experts believe that San Diego has already won.

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