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NFL Playoff picture: Broncos rooting guide and #1 seed scenarios for Week 14

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Go Broncos! Go Texans! Go Steelers!

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

There are four weeks left in the regular NFL season, and the Denver Broncos have positioned themselves well. If the playoffs started today, they'd be the AFC's #2 seed with a first-round bye.

But what's more interesting is the fact that Denver controls its playoff destiny. If the Broncos win out, they'll be the AFC's #1 seed for the third time in the last four years.

AFC Playoff Standings

1. Cincinnati Bengals (10-2, 8-1 AFC)
2. Denver Broncos (10-2, 6-2 AFC, head-to-head win over NE)
3. New England Patriots (10-2, 7-1 AFC, head-to-head loss to DEN)
4. Indianapolis Colts (6-6, head-to-head win over HOU)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5, 6-2 AFC)
6. New York Jets (7-5, 5-4 AFC)
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7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5, 4-4 AFC)
8. Buffalo Bills (6-6, 6-5 in AFC, head-to-head win over HOU)
9. Houston Texans (6-6, 4-5 AFC, head-to-head losses to IND & BUF)
10. Oakland Raiders (5-7, 5-4 AFC)
11. Miami Dolphins (5-7, 3-6 AFC)
12. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8, head-to-head win over BAL)
13. Baltimore Ravens (4-8, head-to-head loss to JAX)
14. San Diego Chargers (3-9, 2-6 AFC)
15. Tennessee Titans (3-9, 1-7 AFC)
16. Cleveland Browns* (2-10)

Week 14 - Who to root for

Besides the Broncos over the Raiders, of course.

Go Steelers! over Bengals

These are Denver's next two opponents, and both are firmly in the playoff hunt. A victory for Pittsburgh would launch the Broncos to the #1 seed while keeping the pressure on Kansas City for a Wild Card spot. While technically a Steelers loss would help the Broncos clinch a playoff spot, at this point that's a low-risk, low-reward goal. Let's keep our sights on that #1 seed for Denver and root for Pittsburgh.

Go Texans! over Patriots

The Patriots are in a two-game slide, which has been the catalyst for Denver's upsurge in the playoff standings. Next they'll face the Texans in Houston on Sunday Night Football. A loss to the Texans could give the Broncos some breathing room should they lose another game this season.

Go Chargers! over Chiefs

The Broncos can clinch their fifth straight AFC West title with a win and a Chiefs loss this weekend. Therefore, despite it leaving a bad taste in our mouth - Go Chargers!

The rest

The team in bold better serves Denver's playoff interests based on a variety of factors including Conference record, strength of schedule, the Bengals' and Patriots' strength of schedule, and strength of victory.

Seahawks at Ravens
Falcons at Panthers
Redskins at Bears
49ers at Browns
Colts at Jaguars
Titans at Jets
Bills at Eagles
Lions
at Rams
Saints at Bucs
Cowboys at Packers
Giants at Dolphins

H/T Buffalo Rumblings for the standings