After the Denver Broncos upset victory over the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday, the team is once again back in the postseason conversation. Sure, they are 3-5 and have little room for error moving forward, but they have won two in a room, including upsetting the reigning Super Bowl Champions, and will be coming off a bye week.
So, you’re telling me there’s a chance? Yes, yes I am.
Running back Javonte Williams echoed this opinion while meeting with the media on Monday. He told reporters that if the offense, defense, and special teams continue to do their jobs, he believes they can make a postseason run. He continues by saying that making playoffs is just the “bare minimum” of their hopes, they’re trying to make a Super Bowl run.
Javonte Williams: "... If the defense do their job, the offense do their job, we got Marvin Mims back there on special teams, so, I feel like everybody's doing their job. Yeah, I feel like the playoffs -- that's just the bare minimum, though. We trying to make a Super Bowl run." pic.twitter.com/h3KLYN04Ev— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 30, 2023
While a Super Bowl run is likely not in the cards for the Broncos as Javonte hopes, a playoff run is possible, especially after their win over the Chiefs. They have won two straight games, their defense is playing well, and they have a favorable schedule the rest of the way. What also is in the Broncos' favor is the AFC landscape. They’re lumped in with a bunch of 3 and 4-win teams all vying for that final playoff spot and IF they continue to play like they have, they can make a run.
There are seven available playoff spots in the AFC and five of them look to be mostly figured out. The Kansas City Chiefs (6-2), Miami Dolphins(6-2), Baltimore Ravens(6-2), Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2), and Buffalo Bills(5-3) all look destined to be division winners or one of the wild card spots.
A lot can change in the next two months, but right now, these five teams look like your favorites for a spot in the playoffs. After these five, however, are a bunch of three to four-win teams vying for the final two postseason spots and the Broncos are now suddenly among them.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3): Mike Tomlin will always have them at or near .500 but they’re an average at best football team who is overachieving despite a bad offense and a bad offensive coordinator/play caller.
Cleveland Browns (4-3): They’re comparable to the Broncos. They traded a ton of picks for a quarterback and paid him a ton of money but he has not lived up to those expectations. They’re a run-first team that relies on their defense to win them some games. They have been pretty inconsistent and play the Broncos in week 12 so that could be a big game for both teams.
New York Jets (4-3): They unfortunately beat the Broncos earlier in the season and somehow managed a victory in the battle of New York this past weekend. However, they remind me of the Steelers and a team that may struggle to reach .500 and may not be serious postseason contenders.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-3): They won three games in a row, have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and will likely make the postseason as a division winner or as a wild card. I have them penciled in as the 5th or 6th seed right now, but if they stumble a bit moving forward, that could open up another spot for the Broncos.
Houston Texans (3-4): They have a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback and with that will come some growing pains. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has played well but they are probably a year or two away from being serious postseason contenders
Tennessee Titans (3-4): Rookie Will Levis did have a great first career start but they do not look like a team contending for the postseason and will be looking towards the future this season.
Los Angeles Chargers (3-4): We know how it goes for the Chargers. They will disappoint and suffer major injuries to aid with the disappointment. The Broncos play them twice and will need to sweep them if they want to make the postseason.
Indianapolis Colts (3-4): They lost their starting quarterback already and now are living and dying with Gardner Minshew. I think they will continue to struggle moving forward and will not be in the postseason conversation.
Las Vegas Raiders (3-4): The Broncos somehow lost their opening game to the Raiders but the two teams are now heading in opposite directions. The Broncos and trending upwards while the Raiders are imploding. They’re not playoff contenders but the Broncos play them in the season finale which could be a deciding factor when it comes to the postseason.
Denver Broncos (3-5): The odds are stacked against the Broncos but they have won two straight and have looked better than a number of the teams ahead of them on this list. They will need to continue to play well on defense and have a strong running game and hope Russell Wilson continues to make timely plays for them on offense.
Sean Payton is a proven winner and hopefully, they can use the win over the Chiefs to propel them into a postseason run coming off the bye week.
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: @ Bills - Monday Night Football
Week 11: Vikings - Sunday Night Football
Week 12: Browns
Week 13: @ Texans
Week 14: @ Chargers
Week 15: @ Lions
Week 16: Patriots - Christmas Eve Night
Week 17: Chargers
Week 18: @ Raiders
The Broncos face long odds to make the postseason, but if they win 5 or 6 more games, they could find themselves in that conversation. The rest of their schedule is pretty favorable and they have the ability to be competitive in all these games.
How they look on the road vs. the Bills will set the second-half narrative for the Broncos. If they upset another AFC favorite on the road on primetime, we’re full steam ahead with this postseason talk. However, a loss and falling to 3-6 would put a damper on this positivity.
However, if they play like they did vs. the Chiefs, they can beat every single one of these teams on the schedule. Of course, I could be delusional and the Broncos go back to looking like they did earlier in the season, but hell, let’s have some fun here. If the Broncos can beat the Chiefs, they can certainly beat the Bills.
Do you think the Broncos can make the playoffs after their victory over the Chiefs?
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