Focusing on Playoff's



The 2011 season now matters. The Broncos have now transformed from a rebuilding team to a playoff contender. They are 1 game out of the division lead and two games out of the top AFC playoff seed with 5 games remaining. Forget all of the controversy over Tebow, and the close call games. Denver has shown the ability to win games when nobody thought they would, and now they actually have a legit shot to be playing in January. For Denver to make the playoff they will likely have to go a minimum of 3 -2 to finish 9-7. 9-7 will probably only get Denver in if Oakland falters, and Denver can win the division. The Wild Card may end up being the more difficult rout. If Denver has to make it as a Wild Card they will have to likely finish 10-6 and go 4-1 or plain win out. The only loss Denver can truly afford is to New England as they are the most difficult opponent on Denver’s remaining schedule and far enough in the playoff seeding that a wild card is unlikely. At this point Denver needs help and has to win almost every game.

Current Playoff Picture

Division Leaders

1. Houston (8-3)– AFC South

2. New England (8-3) – AFC East *

3. Baltimore (8-3) – AFC North

4. Oakland—(7-4) AFC West

Wild Card

5. Pittsburgh (8-3)

6. Cincinnati (7-4)

In the Hunt

7. Denver (6-5)

8. NY Jets (6-5)

9. Tennessee (6-5)

10. Buffalo (5-6) **

11. Kansas City (4-7) ***

12. San Diego (4-7)

13. Cleveland Browns (4-7)

* Denver Plays week 15

** Denver Plays week 16

*** Denver Plays week 17

Contending Teams

4-7 Teams – (2 games behind Denver) Kansas City, San Diego, and Cleveland

Out of this group the greatest threat to Denver is Kansas City. Primarily this is because they play Denver in the season finale. Denver can’t have a two game swing by losing to SD or Cle. However, KC does have the toughest schedule of this group in having to face teams with winning records with all five remaining games. Also, they are in a QB flux and it may take Kyle Orton a couple of games to get comfortable like Carson Palmer. San Diego has an easier schedule, but only face two teams with a losing record. San Diego would have to win 4 out of 5 to get back to 8-8. I don’t think that happens with them playing the Ravens and Lions. Denver only has to win 2 games to finish 8-8 and Denver wins the tie breaker. Cleveland has brutal schedule the Steelers and Ravens twice. They may lose out. San Diego may end up being somewhat of a threat, but only if they really win out to finish 9-7.


Kansas City’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Bears (7-4), at Jets (6-5), vs. Packers (11-0), vs. Raiders (7-4), at Broncos (6-5)

Kansas City’s Projected Finish: last five 1-4 overall: 5-11


San Diego’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Jaguars (3-8), vs. Bills (5-6), vs. Ravens (8-3), at Lions (7-4), at Raiders (7-4)

San Diego’s Projected Finish: last five 3-2 overall: 7-9


Cleveland’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Ravens (8-3), at Steelers (8-3), at Cardinals (4-7), at Ravens (8-3), vs. Steelers (8-3)

Cleveland’s Projected Finish: last five 1-4 overall: 5-11

5- 6 Teams (1 game behind Denver) Buffalo – Four weeks ago Buffalo would have been considered a real threat. Buffalo is three games behind Denver in conference record which would be the primary tie breaker for a wild card spot. Buffalo has lost 4 games in a row. Whatever mojo they had looks to be gone. Denver does play Buffalo, but a loss to the Bills, puts Denver in a bad position with other teams. Denver needs to beat Buffalo in week 16 likely to make the playoffs anyway. This is team is a major threat to keep Denver out of the playoffs.


Buffalo’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Titans (6-5), at Chargers (4-7), vs. Dolphins (3-8), vs. Broncos (6-5), at Patriots (8-3)

Buffalo’s Projected Finish: last five 1-4 overall: 6-10

6-5 Teams (Tied record with Denver): Denver, NY Jets, Tennessee – Good thing Denver currently has a better conference record over New York and Tennessee. Even if Denver loses to Minnesota and Chicago over the next two weeks they wouldn’t count against their advantage over the Jets and Titans. Denver clearly has the edge in tiebreakers to beat both 6-5 teams for a Wild Card position. Denver has a similar schedule remaining with a top team without their QB in the Bears and a top team with their QB in the Patriots mixed around 3 losing teams. Though the Colts are about as much of a gimme as you can get and Denver doesn’t play them.


Tennessee’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Bills (5-6), vs. Saints (8-3), at Colts (0-11), vs. Jaguars (3-8), at Texans (8-3)

Tennessee’s Projected Finish: last five 2-3 overall: 8-8


NY Jets REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Redskins (4-7), vs. Chiefs (4-7), at Eagles (4-7), vs. Giants (6-5), at Dolphins (3-8)

NY Jets’ Projected Finish: last five 3-2 overall: 9-7


Denver’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Vikings (2-9), vs. Bears (7-4), vs. Patriots (8-3), at Bills (5-6), vs. Chiefs (4-7)

Denver beats Min,Chi, and KC, Loses to NE and Buf

Denver’s Projected Finish: last five 3-2 overall: 9-7

7- 4 Teams (1 game ahead of Denver) Oakland, Cincinnati – One of these two teams has to go 2-3 in order for Denver to have a chance. That’s all that the reality of it. Sure Denver could win out and they could go 4-1, but that is not realistic. Even at 3-2 Both Teams would finish 10-6 and Denver would have to go 4-1. I doubt Denver does go 4-1. One of these teams needs to go 2-3 for Denver to get in.


Oakland’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Dolphins (3-8), at Packers (11-0), vs. Lions (7-4), at Chiefs (4-7), vs. Chargers (4-7)

Oakland’s Projected Finish: last five 2-3 overall: 9-7


Cincinnati’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Steelers (8-3), vs. Texans (8-3), at Rams (2-9), vs. Cardinals (4-7), vs. Ravens (8-3)

Cincinnati’s Projected Finish: last five 2-3 overall: 9-7

8- 3 Teams (2 games ahead of Denver) Houston, New England, Baltimore, Pittsburgh – Denver can’t really catch any of these teams to beat out for a playoff position as they only need two wins to get to 10-6. Though, if Denver does make the playoffs it is likely that Denver will be playing all of these teams except for New England who could win out and will have the top seed and a bye. Houston could end up losing without a decent starting QB and be the lowest divisional seed. If Denver makes it as a wild card they likely will face Houston or Pittsburgh/Baltimore.


Houston’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Falcons (7-4), at Bengals (7-4), vs. Panthers (3-8), at Colts (0-11), vs. Titans (6-5

Houston’s Projected Finish: last five 3-2 overall: 11-5


New England’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Colts (0-11), at Redskins (4-7), at Broncos (6-5), vs. Dolphins (3-8), vs. Bills (5-6

New England’s Projected Finish: last five 5-0 overall: 13-3


Baltimore’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Browns (4-7), vs. Colts (0-11), at Chargers (4-7), vs. Browns (4-7), at Bengals (7-4

Baltimore’s Projected Finish: last five 4-1 overall: 12-4


Pittsburgh’s REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Bengals (7-4), vs. Browns (4-7), at 49ers (9-2), vs. Rams (2-9), at Browns (4-7)

Pittsburgh’s Projected Finish: last five 3-2 overall: 11-5


Division Leaders

1. Houston (11-5)– AFC South

2. New England (13-3) – AFC East

3. Baltimore (12-4) – AFC North

4. Denver (9-7) -- AFC West

Wild Card

5. Pittsburgh (11-5)

6. Oakland—(9-7)

In the Hunt

1. Cincinnati (9-7)

2. NY Jets (9-7)

3. Tennessee (8-8)

4. Buffalo (6-10)

5. San Diego (7-9)

6. Kansas City (5-11)

7. Cleveland Browns (5-11)

Denver hosts Pittsbrugh in the Wild Card round

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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