With the Denver Broncos losing Thursday, their positioning in the AFC playoffs is in jeopardy on Sunday and there will be a couple of games to keep an eye on.
The first game to keep an eye on will be the matchup between New England and Miami. If the Patriots win that game, they will take over first place in the AFC, which the Broncos have held ever since they beat the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year for the first time. This is a game that typically would be a sure victory for the Patriots, but the Dolphins are a much different team this year than in years past.
With Ryan Tannehill picking up his game, and the Dolphin defense better than most people think–not to mention playing at home–this game means something for both teams. Miami just won last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, showing incredible toughness in making a fourth quarter run.
The Patriots are short-handed, but are they ever short-handed with Tom Brady? They lost Rob Gronkowski for the year with a devastating knee injury, and it will take a lot to replace him. The Dolphins will get up for this game, and I think they have a decent chance of winning it.
All Broncos fans will surely be rooting for them today.
The other game to pay attention to is Kansas City at Oakland, though this game means slightly less to Denver than the New England game, quite frankly.
Prior to losing to the Chargers, the Broncos hadn’t lost in division play since Tim Tebow was the quarterback. Denver’s divisional record is 4-1, and with two wins over the Chiefs this season, they own the tie-breaker with a one game lead. Unless the Broncos drop one of their final two games this year, they’ll be first place in the AFC West, even if the Chiefs beat the Raiders on Sunday.
Still, it would be great if the Raiders could muster up an upset somehow, some way on Sunday. There are huge implications in this game for Kansas City, who will clinch a playoff berth with a victory or a Dolphins loss against New England.
The Chiefs are coming off of a huge win against the Washington Redskins on the road, and the Raiders have nothing really to play for but pride at this point. They have shown an ability to hang with some teams this year, but I think Kansas City will take this one on the road.
Prove me wrong, Raiders.