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NFL playoff picture: Broncos back in contention for AFC's No. 1 seed

Denver's aiming for home field advantage throughout the postseason.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After twelve weeks of play, every NFL team is mathematically still in play for the playoffs. Granted, some of those teams have next to zero chance of actually making it, but there's still much to be determined in the playoff race. As of today, Denver would be the AFC's No. 3 seed.

(Playoff graphic courtesy of

If the Broncos win out (beating the Bengals in Week 16), and if the Patriots lose one more game, Denver will claim the AFC's No. 1 seed with a 14-2 record and a tie-breaker over New England.

The Patriots host the Eagles (4-7), play at Houston (6-5), host the Titans, play at the Jets (6-5), and finish the year at Miami (4-7). The Broncos play at San Diego (3-8), host Oakland (5-6), play at Pittsburgh (6-5), host the Bengals (9-2), and finish the season hosting the Chargers.

Winning out is a tall order for Denver, but they're in overall good standing. The best Kansas City could finish is 11-5, so Denver can clinch the AFC West with three more victories.

Winning the division is all it takes to get into the playoffs, and anything can happen from there. Still, seeding—and home field advantage—is huge, so there's more at stake than just the AFC West.

Going forward, in addition to rooting for Denver, pull for whoever is playing against New England and Cincinnati. With some help, Denver could clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.