4. Playing spoiler for teams atop the AFC West
It’s not like guys are just out there “playing for pride” at this point of the year. Future jobs are on the line. Guys are now auditioning for the next coaching staff, who is going to watch the film of this past season to make determinations about the roster going forward.
Aside from having a lot to play for professionally, these guys are competitors at the end of the day, right? They are competitors at the very highest level, and so many of these Broncos players have lost so many games in a row to the Chiefs. It’s not just about beating them at this point, it’s about what that would mean.
Obviously, it would end a terrible streak for the Broncos but it would also potentially derail the Chiefs’ hopes of being the no. 1 overall seed in the AFC this year. The Buffalo Bills are currently atop the AFC but are tied with the Chiefs in their overall record, and a home game against the Broncos this week should have the Chiefs safely in the driver’s seat to own the no. 1 seed after Sunday’s action.
The Bills play the Cincinnati Bengals, so they have a much tougher opponent standing in their way.
The Broncos should lose this game on paper. The Chiefs are better. As Jerry Rosburg stated, the gap between these two clubs is apparent. But this game could close that gap. It could give the Broncos the chance to make sure the Chiefs are traveling to Buffalo or Cincinnati sometime in the playoffs and make winning the Super Bowl a nearly impossible task for them.
Not to mention, if the Broncos could somehow beat both the Chiefs and Chargers next week, they would have beaten two playoff teams in consecutive weeks with another win this season against the 49ers. Having those three wins plus the team’s earlier win against the Jaguars (who might win the AFC South) would at least be something to hang their hats on going into the offseason.
The Denver Broncos snagged a sleeper running back off the Baltimore Ravens practice squad, adding rookie Tyler Badie out of Missouri.
Beating two division rivals in a row? That would help the Broncos make sure the Chiefs hit the road in the postseason and that the Chargers finish the year with two straight losses instead of just one.