Denver hosts Kansas City in a must-win game for the Broncos to even have a shot for a wildcard spot.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-12) @ Denver Broncos (8-7)
For the Denver Broncos to make the playoffs, this is what must happen:
1) Beat Kansas City and a N.Y. Jets loss or tie and a loss or tie by Baltimore, or Pittsburgh, or Houston
2) Beat Kansas City and a Baltimore loss or tie and a Pittsburgh or Houston loss or tie
3) A Pittsburgh loss and a Baltimore loss and a Houston loss and a Jacksonville loss
4) A Pittsburgh loss and a Baltimore loss and a Houston loss and a N.Y. Jets loss
5) A Pittsburgh loss and a Baltimore loss and a Jacksonville loss and a N.Y. Jets loss
6) A Pittsburgh loss and a Houston loss and a Jacksonville loss and a N.Y. Jets loss
7) A Miami loss or tie and a N.Y. Jets loss and a Baltimore loss and a Houston loss and a Jacksonville loss.
But essentially if Baltimore and the N.Y. Jets win, the Broncos are out. Considering that Baltimore is playing Oakland, the Ravens should run their way into the playoffs with Ray Rice. Chances are that the Cincinnati Bengals will rest their starters against the Jets, so the overall picture for Denver does not look good.
For a team that started out 6-0 and could have clinched a spot in the playoffs weeks ago, this is very frustrating for Denver fans. They’ve been very close to winning a couple games they could’ve or even should’ve won in recent weeks, so the fact they are even in a wildcard best case scenario situation is devastating.
To look on the bright side, even an 8-8 season for the Broncos is a win for this franchise and head coach Josh McDaniels. Talent wise, this Broncos team was not an elite squad in the NFL, with most sports writers predicting a four to six win season this year. Nobody was surprised when the Colts jumped out to a 6-0 start, but everyone seemed to be in shock with Denver’s undefeated start after six games. The reason being, they weren’t supposed to be that good. After reality and the remainder of the NFL season kicked in, we soon realized they weren’t.
This is not a playoff team. If the Broncos do have the right scenario fall into place for them this week, don’t expect much in the postseason. They have competed, but can not consistently beat quality teams in the playoffs. They have been a lucky team so far this season, so if luck shines on them again and they do make it in, maybe they can extend that luck for one playoff win. But even if they do happen to pull that off, don’t expect much more than that from this team.
With all of that being stated, the Broncos should smash on the visiting Chiefs, even without Brandon Marshall playing this week. The Broncos are not a legitimate playoff contender, but they are a lot better than Kansas City. The Chiefs can’t stop anybody on defense, as the Broncos proved a couple weeks back, winning 44-13. The Chiefs will not lye down though, and Kansas City would love nothing more than to completely erase any chance Denver has to make the postseason considering their long, bitter rivalry.
Denver made a good run this season and definitely has a solid team to build onto for next year. The Broncos built up some expectations early on in the season, so the fans must not forget the positives of what looks to be a 9-7 finish, even if it means not being in the playoffs. Not one gambler in Vegas predicted the Broncos to win nine games this year, so consider this year a success, even if they somehow manage to lose to the Chiefs. But cross your fingers Broncos fans, because there is still a chance…
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Written by Josh Souder