Denver Broncos Playoff Scenarios: Week 15


Dec 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) throws a glove into the stands after the game against the Buffalo Bills at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Bills 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


Yes, it is the final month of the regular season and teams are getting themselves ready for a run to the postseason. 24 of the 32 teams are still in position to obtain one of the 12 playoff spots in the league. In the next three weeks, half of the field will be cut down.

The Denver Broncos are in prime position to reach the postseason for the fourth consecutive year. John Fox is attempting to win the division for the fourth straight year, something an AFC West coach has not done since John Madden did it with the Oakland Raiders. The feat seems all but locked up, but anything can happen. If you need any indication of that, just look up the Denver Broncos 2008 season, which was the last season Mike Shanahan coached the team. That year saw the Broncos go from playoff contender to sitting at home.

The Broncos, however, should have no problem getting into the postseason. So, let’s take a look at the various scenarios that could punch a playoff ticket for the Broncos at the conclusion of the 2014 regular season.

The simplest way the Broncos can obtain a playoff spot  is winning the AFC West division, which they can do as long as they win or tie against their opponent, the San Diego Chargers. With Denver sitting at 10-3 and the Chargers at 8-5, a Broncos win would not only give the Broncos a three game lead against the Chargers but also would give the Broncos a season sweep of San Diego. No other team in the AFC West would be able to catch them at this rate, so this is why a win would give them the AFC West.

Even if the Broncos do not win, they can still punch a ticket to the postseason by virtue of at least clinching a playoff spot, but either one of the following scenarios must happen.

Miami loss/tie + Houston loss/tie + Cincinnati loss + Pittsburgh loss

Miami loss/tie + Houston loss/tie + Baltimore loss + Cleveland loss/tie

Miami loss/tie + Houston loss/tie + Baltimore loss + Pittsburgh win

Four teams is a lot to depend upon to at least obtain a playoff birth, but in all reality it can happen. The Dolphins travel to New England, Houston travels to Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Cleveland square off, Pittsburgh travels to Atlanta, and Baltimore plays Jacksonville. On paper, the only scenario that I can really see happening is the first one. I just cannot see the Jaguars going into Baltimore and coming out with a win. But if any of these scenarios comes to surface, the Broncos could earn a playoff spot before they even take the field on Sunday because the teams above play in the early time slot.

The last scenario the Broncos have this weekend to obtain a playoff spot is the first round bye. This is key for the Broncos in order to rest important players before the divisional round and have at least one home game. The way the Broncos can clinch a first round bye is the following way.

Denver win + Indianapolis loss + Cincinnati loss + Pittsburgh loss/tie

It would be a bit tricky, but this is a scenario that could happen. The Broncos would know for sure if it is possible before they take the field or while they are playing. But it is important for this team to take it one game at a time. Goal number one is to take care of business against the Chargers. If they can do that, a ticket to the playoffs is theirs. May the odds be ever in their favor this weekend.