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Broncos' playoff picture improves greatly ahead of Bengals Monday Night game

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The Pittsburgh Steelers' loss to the Baltimore Ravens has improved Denver's playoff scenarios. But the Broncos can still miss the playoffs entirely. They can also win the AFC's No. 1 seed.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Win and they're in. It's as simple as that.

The Denver Broncos need to win just one of their two remaining regular season games in order to clinch a playoff berth after the Pittsburgh Steelers were upset by the Baltimore Ravens Sunday. That loss gave the Broncos enough to clinch at least an AFC Wild Card spot if they beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night or the San Diego Chargers in their home finale a week from now.

If the Broncos win both of their remaining games, they'll clinch the AFC West and finish with a first-round bye at no worse than the No. 2 seed. The Broncos received more good news in that scenario with the Jets beating the Patriots Sunday: now, if the Patriots lose to the Dolphins in Week 17 and the Broncos win out, the Broncos would be the AFC's top seed.

AFC Playoff Standings

(Overall record, AFC record, remaining schedule)
1. New England Patriots (12-3, 9-2, 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 (8-7, 6-5, vs. JAC)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (10-5, 9-2, vs. OAK)
6. New York Jets (10-5, 7-4, at BUF)

In the hunt
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6, 6-5, at CLE)
10. Indianapolis Colts (7-8, 5-6, vs. TEN)