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AFC Playoff Picture: Broncos now need a lot of help to get in

The Denver Broncos playoff chances are not dead just yet, but they are nearing life support.

NFL: Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

It sure seems like the Denver Broncos playoff chances were flushed down the toilet with their ugly loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but its not quite mathematically over just yet.

Last week, I noted that the Broncos would need the AFC North to stumble. And stumble they did. The Baltimore Ravens lost on the road in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Pittsburgh Steelers choked on the road to the hapless Oakland Raiders. Those two games have left the AFC very wide open.

AFC Playoff Picture

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-2)
  2. New England Patriots (9-4)
  3. Houston Texans (9-4)
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1)
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3)
  6. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

Above the Broncos are three other 7-6 teams in the Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, and Tennessee Titans.

The situation is dire for the 6-7 Broncos. They first need to win out, then have those four other 7-6 teams to lose two games as all four of those teams also have better conference records than Denver.