Denver Broncos need double-digit wins to make playoffs in 2023

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

The AFC looks to be an extremely loaded conference in 2023. Since that is the case, the Denver Broncos may need to win at least 10 games if they want a chance at making the playoffs. Is 10 wins too optimistic for the 2023 Denver Broncos?

Well, that might be the minimum if the team wants to sniff the postseason in 2023. The AFC looks to be a loaded conference, and you could argue that nearly every team in the conference has a shot at the playoffs in 2023. I could see a situation play out where many of the teams in the conference just beat up on each other since many teams seem to be evenly matched up.

Perhaps there could be a scenario where a large handful of teams finish with winning records, not necessarily double-digit wins. We've seen some insanely deep AFC play over the last few seasons. In the 2020 NFL playoffs, each AFC playoff team had at least 11 wins. This was the last year of the 16-game season.

Not only that, the Miami Dolphins missed the playoffs that year at 10-6, and there were nine total teams out of 16 that had a .500 or better record in the AFC. In 2021, it was more of the same. A whopping 10 teams in the 2021 season had winning records, and the last playoff seed went to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who finished with a 9-7-1 record. In 2021, it essentially would have taken 10 wins at minimum to make the playoffs. It would have taken 11 wins in 2020 to make the postseason, which is insane.

It wasn't quite as bad in 2022, however. Only five playoff teams had double-digit wins and just eight teams in the AFC had a winning record last year, which is about normal, but the 2023 season may end up being incredibly competitive. The Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, and Jaguars all feel like the division winners to me, and they all feel like 99.9% guarantees to win double-digit games.

Wild Card teams in 2022 included the Chargers, Ravens, and Dolphins. The Chargers and Ravens each won 10 games and the Dolphins won nine. Well, the Chargers improved at their offensive coordinator spot. The Ravens may just need better injury luck to return to their 2019 form, and the Dolphins will now be in year two under head coach Mike McDaniel. They also added two very good pieces to the defense in Jalen Ramsey and Vic Fangio.

All three teams have incredible cases to win at least 10 games in 2023. Other teams who have a shot at that include the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had an excellent offseason and QB Kenny Pickett may be more settled into his role. The New York Jets won seven games last year and among many other additions, added a future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers.

The Cleveland Browns have a playoff-caliber roster and Deshaun Watson beginning the year as the starter. If Watson can return to his old self, the Browns could be very dangerous. The Denver Broncos also have a path to 10 wins. Their head coach is one of the best of this generation, and Payton has won double-digit games numerous times during his HC career.

Winning 10 games in 2023 may not even be a guarantee to make the postseason. The Broncos may have to win 10 games and hope they have enough tiebreakers to clinch a Wild Card spot over other 10-win teams.

The 2023 season could be brutal in the AFC.

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