A Denver Broncos fan's rooting guide for NFL Week 16

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Jaguars @ Buccaneers

The Jaguars are at risk of a free fall. They have lost three in a row, and have opened the door to the AFC South back up for DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud, and the Texans. The Jaguars now travel to Tampa Bay, to play the NFC South-leading Buccaneers and Baker Mayfield, who played out of his mind this past week in Green Bay. Should the Jaguars lose, they would drop to 8-7 and could fall out of first place, depending on the results of the Colts against the Falcons and the Texans against the Browns.

The Jaguars free-falling out of the AFC South lead turns them into a wild card team, and worse for the Jags, would slide them to third place should both the Colts and Texans win. The Jags, at the rate they are playing, could even be on upset watch in week 18 against the Titans. A 1-1 two-week stretch for the Jags would make their week 18 matchup pivotal, and give the Titans a great chance to play spoiler.

At this rate, any AFC vs NFC game with a wild card contender should have Broncos fans rooting for the NFC team.

Cowboys @ Dolphins

Forget that last part I just said. To avoid a disaster scenario where the Dolphins are a wild card team, the Broncos need the Fins to win the AFC East. To do that this week, the Dolphins need a win and a Bills loss.

However, two Dolphins wins over the next two weeks would also do the trick, and would also avoid a winner-take-all matchup in week 18. The Dolphins welcome in a Cowboys team that got thumped in Buffalo this past week, and the Dolphins handled the Jets more than easily enough, even without Tyreek Hill. The Dolphins winning the east takes them out of the wild card conversation and puts the Bills into a wild card or die scenario.

In that case, things are much easier for the Broncos. If the Fins can win this week, the burden on the shoulders of the Broncos is lifted a bit more than if the Cowboys win.