Denver Broncos Playoff Scenarios: Week 17


Dec 22, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) intercepts a pass during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The playoff road has become more difficult for the Denver Broncos. After their Week 16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the path to the AFC playoffs will be going through New England this season. I have mentioned though that with the Broncos new offense, they have the ability to win anywhere. Plus with all the talk about how cursed the 13-3 record is for the Broncos, perhaps not having the spotlight on the team is for the best.

Anyways, the Denver Broncos still have a lot to play for in their Week 17 matchup against the Oakland Raiders this weekend. They can still get a first round bye in the playoff push that starts next weekend. There are three ways the Broncos can obtain the first round bye, but the first one is pretty simple.

Broncos Win

Bengals Loss

Bengals tie + Colts win

A win against the Oakland Raiders is the easiest way because they do not have to depend upon other teams in order to secure the first round bye. However, if they end up losing to the Raiders (which on paper, it does not seem likely) they would have to depend upon the Pittsburgh Steelers to beat Cincinnati later on in the Sunday Night Football showcase. If this result happens, the Steelers would be the AFC North champion, but lose the tiebreaker to the Denver Broncos. With key players needing the rest, the Broncos cannot afford to lose the game and have Cincinnati take the second seed for the playoff round.

No matter what happens, there are some in the social media outlets that are fearful of the Broncos playoff chances once Week 17 ends. Most are focused on the high expectations of Peyton Manning, who just announced that he wants to return in 2015. They are worried about him regarding his recent play. They will be even more concerned because of his record in the postseason. Broncos fans have a lot of faith in their team. And if history is set to repeat itself, the playoff path for the Broncos will end on a good note. 13-3 has not been an unlucky record in the last 10 years.

2005 Denver Broncos- Finished 13-3, lost AFC Championship Game

2012 Denver Broncos- Finished 13-3, lost AFC Divisional Round

2013 Denver Broncos- Finished 13-3, lost Super Bowl 48

I don’t know about you, but I would rather have the Broncos in the playoff hunt as a 12-4 team. Now all we have to do is wait. There is not a lot the Denver Broncos can do except take care of business against the Raiders. If they can come out with a win, a much needed rest awaits.