ESPN's projections give Broncos a fitting Wild Card matchup in playoffs

ESPN is currently projecting the Denver Broncos to have a eye-rolling playoff matchup in 2023 playoffs

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

ESPN's Football Power Index gives the Denver Broncos the best chance to clinch the seventh and final Wild Card seed in the AFC, and their projected matchup will make your head explode. ESPN has something called their Football Power Index, and they seem to think the Broncos have a decent shot at making the postseason.

According to their most updated odds, the Broncos have the seventh-best odds to make the playoffs at 45 percent, which is above teams like the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Pittsburgh Steelers. They also give the team a 7 percent chance to win the division, for what that is worth. If you scroll farther down in their long-form article you'll see their playoff chances organized by seed.

Well, they currently give the Denver Broncos the best chance to make the seventh seed. They have a 14 percent chance to earn that seventh seed according to their FPI. Well, as we know, the NFL recently tweaked their playoff format, only giving the No.1 seed a bye week and now having the No. 2 seed set to play the freshly added No. 7 seed.

And who is ESPN projected to earn the No. 2 seed in the AFC? Yes, that's right, it's the Kansas City Chiefs. They have a 39 percent chance to earn the No. 2 seed, which is above the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. KC also has the second-highest odds at the No. 1 seed behind the Baltimore Ravens, who have a 54 percent chance to be the top seed in the AFC.

So, at this very moment, the Denver Broncos are projected to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead during Wild Card weekend. And honestly, that might be the team's best matchup. The Broncos held the Chiefs to just 28 points in two matchups this year. Denver scored 32 points combined in those games.

So yeah, the Chiefs aren't their old selves this year, and a huge reason for that is the below-average WR room that Patrick Mahomes is throwing to. Mahomes is having the worst statistical season of his career, and the Chiefs' scoring offense is the worst it's been in the Mahomes-era. Also, their tackle situation isn't great. Original starting LT Donovan Smith was having a pretty iffy year. Rookie LT Wayna Morris is now starting at LT.

Their big-time free agent addition was RT Jawaan Taylor, who, according to PFF, has allowed three sacks and has committed 17 penalties. It's clear that along with the bad WR room, Mahomes is having to deal with subpar tackle play.

And both of those deficiencies were on display in Week 8 when the Broncos beat the team for the first time since 2015. I do think Denver could go into Arrowhead and get the win, but it'd be a vastly different matchup than if the two teams were playing in Denver.

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Would you like the Broncos to play the Chiefs in the first round of the 2023 NFL playoffs?

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