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Horse Tracks: Broncos can move into first place in the AFC on Sunday

Good Morning Broncos Country!

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

After the Philidelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots last Sunday and the Denver Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers, they moved into the number two seed in the AFC. With a win on Sunday and a loss by the Cincinnati Bengals, the Broncos can be in first place in the AFC on Sunday Night.

The Bengals host their division rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in what figures to be another hard fought AFC North battle between the two teams.

The Broncos currently hold the second seed in the AFC and have the same record as the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots. The three teams will be battling for home field advantage and a first-round bye during the final weeks of the 2015 NFL Season.

So let's take a look at the remaining schedule of all three teams.

Denver Broncos:

Week 14: Oakland Raiders (5-7)

Week 15: at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

Week:16: Cincinnati Bengals (10-2)

Week 17: San Diego Chargers (3-9)

The Broncos end the season with three home games which should play into their favor. The Broncos have one of the better home records in the NFL over the past decade.

What does worry me is back to back games against two AFC North teams. Both teams will be tough matchups for the banged up Broncos, and pose the toughest challenges for the Broncos before the postseason begins. Also, the matchup against the Bengals could be for the number one overall seed in the AFC. So that will be a matchup to keep an eye on

Cincinnati Bengals:

Week 14: Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

Week 15: at Cleveland Browns (2-10)

Week:16: at Denver Broncos (10-2)

Week 17: Baltimore Ravens (4-8)

The Bengals finish out the season with three games against their division rivals. Fortunately for them, two of those three teams are the two-win Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens who are down to their third-string quarterback.

The games against the Steelers and Broncos will be the big games for the Bengals. If they win, they're set for the number one seed. If they lose, they're probably playing wildcard weekend.

New England Patriots:

Week 14: at Houston Texans (6-6)

Week 15: Tennessee Titans (3-9)

Week:16: New York Jets (7-5)

Week 17: at Miami Dolphins (5-7)

The Patriots have the easiest schedule of the three teams. While the Texans and Jets figure to be tough matchups for the Patriots, they should come away with the victory against those two. It would be shocking to see the Titans and Dolphins to pull an upset against the mighty Patriots, but stranger things have happened.

What the Patriots have going for them is that they're getting healthy at the right time. Tight End Rob Gronkowski figures to return either this week or next weekend, and wide receiver Danny Amendola returned to practice for the first time since his injury today.

All signs point to the Patriots winning out.

Horse Tracks:

Mile High Sports on Denver 8: "Debuts" with Shane Ray and Emmanuel Mudiay | Mile High Sports

Ware ready to return and take advantage of golden opportunity | Mile High Sports
DeMarcus Ware's return to the field is coming at the perfect time for not only the team, but for his aging body.

Grading the last five Denver Broncos draft classes | Mile High Sports
Let's take a look back at the Denver Broncos draft classes that helped build the team we see today

Giants waive Damontre Moore after fight with Jenkins -
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Julian Edelman back at New England Patriots practice -
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Week 14 Notebook: Russell Wilson making Tom Brady-like rise -
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Ohio State hires ex-Bucs, Rutgers head coach Schiano as DC -
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Former scout: Derrick Henry looks like fourth-round pick -
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Twenty things to know about Week 14 injury report -
The New York Jets have won their last two games, but have done so without Darrelle Revis. However, the star corner is listed as probable to play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

Mike Zimmer 'thought about' kicking a third-down FG -
The Vikings could have pushed Thursday night's game into overtime if coach Mike Zimmer opted to kick the ball on third down. Instead, Teddy Bridgewater fumbled and the Vikings lost.

Warmer temps costing Packers home-field advantage? -
The forecast for Sunday's tilt between the Packers and Cowboys in Green Bay calls for 57 degree weather. Could the warm weather be wiping out a home-field advantage at Lambeau?

Redskins sign veteran running back Pierre Thomas -
The Redskins signed running back Pierre Thomas on Friday as insurance for injured pass-catching back Chris Thompson. The team placed defensive lineman Stephen Paea on injured reserve.

Is DeMarco Murray really a bad scheme fit in Philly? -
DeMarco Murray was the league's best running back in 2014. So far, it hasn't worked out well for the Philly back since coming over from Dallas. Is it just a bad scheme fit? Conor Orr explores.

Bold predictions: Todd Gurley gets back on track -
St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley has struggled of late. But will the NFL Rookie of the Year candidate regain his early season form on Sunday? Our Around The NFL prognosticators think so.

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer second guesses final play call against Arizona Cardinals
Mike Zimmer said the Vikings "probably could have called something else" on the play that resulted in Teddy Bridgewater's game-ending fumble against the Cardinals.

Devin Taylor of Detroit Lions not fined for face mask on Aaron Rodgers
Officials called a face mask on Detroit Lions defensive end Devin Taylor late in the Green Bay game -- leading to a 61-yard game winner for the Packers -- but the NFL did not fine Taylor for it.

Brandin Cooks expected to play for New Orleans Saints
Brandin Cooks clarified Friday that he did not suffer a concussion last weekend but was in fact tested for one. He has since cleared the protocol and is expected to play Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Appeals court grants stay allowing DraftKings, FanDuel to continue operating in New York
An appellate court judge on Friday gave the two major daily fantasy sites an emergency temporary stay that will allow them to accept entries from New Yorkers.

NFL says Mark Ingram flag was for choreographed celebration, not throwing football | ProFootballTalk
After Saints running back Mark Ingram scored a touchdown on Sunday, he threw the football against the wall near the end zone in celebration. The ball then ricocheted off the wall and hit a stadium worker standing nearby.

Week 14 injury report roundup | ProFootballTalk
Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks.

League acknowledges officiating changes are being considered for postseason | ProFootballTalk
On Friday morning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hinted that the league may use increased technology to support the officiating function during the 2015 postseason. The NFL has separately confirmed that improvements are possible.

Goodell hints at increased use of technology for 2015 postseason officiating | ProFootballTalk
NFL officials have been making mistakes during games ever since the league was founded. In 2015, many of the mistakes have become glaring because millions of fans can witness those mistakes in real time -- through multiple angles, in slow motion, and in crisp, stunning high definition.

Revis practices fully, has to pass one more test to play | ProFootballTalk
Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis said Thursday that he's playing against the Titans this weekend, but that's not quite official yet. There isn't the same wiggle room for players in the concussion protocol that there is with other injuries, leaving Revis in need of clearance from a neurologist befor...

Reggie Bush is still "strongly considering" lawsuit over knee injury | ProFootballTalk
Last month, 49ers running back Reggie Bush suffered a serious knee injury after slipping on the concrete that inexplicably surrounded the playing surface at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. He quickly hired a lawyer with the intention of filing lawsuit, but Bush has not yet done so.

New Concussion commercials incorporate NFL game footage | ProFootballTalk
The movie's director claims Concussion is a shot between the eyes of the NFL. The marketing effort is now doing the same. Recent commercials for the film have incorporated actual NFL game footage, interspersed with messages like "COVER-UP.

Shane Ray not fined (or flagged) for post-sack somersaults | ProFootballTalk
Broncos linebackers have had plenty of reasons to celebrate this year, because they've racked up plenty of sacks. Earlier this year, Von Miller picked up a fine for his homage to Key & Peele's "three pumps" dance. On Sunday, Miller opted to do the robot after picking up another sack.

Falcons place Matt Bryant on injured reserve | ProFootballTalk
The Falcons ruled kicker Matt Bryant out of Sunday's game on Friday and then later ruled him out for the rest of the season as well. The team announced that Bryant has been placed on injured reserve with the quad injury that kept him from playing the last two weeks.