Key factors facing teams that Broncos are chasing in the Wild Card race for Week 16

As the NFL playoff race heats up, there will be several teams to watch for as the Denver Broncos look to get back into the postseason.

Dec 16, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) catches a
Dec 16, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) catches a / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) celebrates his 1-yard touchdown run against the Cowboys. / Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and

Buffalo at L.A. Chargers

Talk about two teams going in completely different directions.

The Chargers have all but folded up shop on this season after firing head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco and now they get a red-hot Bills team that no one wants to face in the playoffs.

So with any luck, they will be left out. However, rooting for a Bills loss here is going to be tough after the Chargers just gave up 63 points to the Las Vegas Raiders last week.

Key Factor: Giff Smith

Giff Smith was serving as the Chargers' outside linebackers coach and he has been named the team's interim coach for the rest of this year. How will the Chargers respond to Smith? Will they be inspired and be "up" for this game?

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It will be a big week and things could become much more clear in this playoff race. For the Broncos, none of it will matter if they can't beat the Patriots at home.