It is do or die for the Denver Broncos in Week 16. Any loss will eliminate them from playoff contention for the 2016 season.
Here are the scenarios if the Broncos defeat the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas night and then defeat the Oakland Raiders in Week 17.
First, the Baltimore Ravens must lose to either the Pittsburgh Steelers on Christmas or the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17.
Second, the New England Patriots must defeat the Miami Dolphins in Week 17.
And finally, the Chiefs must defeat the San Diego Chargers in Week 17.
If any of those things fail to occur, the Broncos are eliminated.
Update: Some were wondering what the Chargers have to do with the Broncos seeding situation. A commenter, Gatorfan4life, explained below rather well:
In a 3 way tie that includes 2 members of the same division, a division tie breaker is used first. KC eliminates the broncos by the virtue of a better division record. then the dolphins and chiefs have a tie breaker to determine seeding. (the dolphins would win the 5 seed in that scenario due to better common games record.) KC losing last week allowed this scenario to be possible. Denver cant lose a tie breaker to Miami unless KC is also involved.
AFC Playoff Picture
- New England Patriots (13-2)
- Oakland Raiders (12-3)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)
- Houston Texans (9-6)
- Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
- Miami Dolphins (10-5)
- Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
- Denver Broncos (8-6)
If you think Bill Belichick and the Patriots would be willing to throw their final game to secure a playoff spot for the Dolphins and ensure they won’t have to face the Broncos defense, then you may be onto something.
The question there would be, would the Patriots be willing to risk losing homefield advantage to the Raiders in the process?