(Overall record, AFC record, remaining schedule)
1. New England Patriots (12-2, 9-1, at NYJ, at MIA)
2. Cincinnati Bengals (11-3, 8-2, at DEN, vs. BAL)
3. Denver Broncos (10-4, 6-4, vs. CIN, vs. SD)
4. Houston Texans (7-7, 5-5, at TEN, vs. JAC)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5, 8-2, vs. CLE, vs. OAK)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5, 6-4, at BAL, at CLE)
In the hunt
(Overeall record, AFC record, remaining schedule)
7. New York Jets (9-5, 6-4, vs. NE, at BUF)
10. Indianapolis Colts (6-8, 4-6, at MIA, vs. TEN)
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9, 5-6, at NO, at HOU)
How the Broncos can win the #1 seed
If the Broncos win out, and the Patriots lose both of their remaining games, the Broncos would be the AFC's #1 seed. While that seems unlikely, both of the Patriots' games are on the road; the Jets have everything to play for next week, and the Dolphins would love to play spoiler.
How the Broncos can win the #2 seed
Win out, and the Broncos have a first-round bye. That 12-4 record would tie them with the Bengals (should Cincy win in Week 17), but Denver would own the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win against them on Monday Night Football next week.
How the Broncos can lose the AFC West
If the Broncos lose another game, and the Chiefs continue their eight-game winning streak into January (which seems likely against the Browns and Raiders), the Chiefs would win the division due to a stronger division record. Denver's best chance of avoiding this is simple: win out.
How the Broncos can miss the playoffs
Should the Broncos lose the West, things could go south quickly. Even going 1-1 down the stretch wouldn't guarantee the Broncos a playoff spot. If the Steelers and Jets (and Chiefs) each win out, the Broncos would be on the outside looking in during the playoffs, even with an 11-5 record.
The margin for error is completely gone. The Broncos used it up in Weeks 14 and 15. Every game is truly a must-win for Denver.