Playoff Picture: Broncos are far from out of it based on Week 13 results

- Colts pull off big overtime victory

- Browns fall despite going with another QB

- One team in Denver's way may have big problems

Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) is
Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) is / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos saw their five-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday in a tough loss against the Houston Texans, but their playoff hopes didn't take as big of a hit as some are going to have you believe.

The Broncos are now 6-6 on the season and currently sit at No. 9 in the overall AFC playoff race (the top 7 teams make the playoffs). For the Broncos to end their eight-year playoff drought, they are going to have to have some things bounce their way, but some things may have already done that in Week 13.

I am going to focus just on the teams battling for Wild Card spots here and display how the Broncos are still well within striking distance heading into Week 14.

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

The Steelers are a team that is just headed in the wrong direction and they still are having a difficult time finding much offensively. They were beaten 24-10 at home by a poor Arizona Cardinals team and in that defeat, they also lost starting quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Some may see that as a good thing, but the team hasn't been any better with Mitch Trubisky playing the position. The Steelers currently hold the AFC's top Wild Card spot but they might be the worst team on this list.

6. Indianapolis Colts (7-5)

The Colts keep finding ways to win and their overtime victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday is the result Broncos fans should be most upset about as it keeps them one game ahead of the Broncos in the standings.

The Colts have rallied with Gardner Minshew at quarterback but their best player, Jonathan Taylor, is going to miss the next several weeks with a thumb injury and you just have to wonder when that will catch up to them.

7. Cleveland Browns (7-5)

The Browns might be better with Joe Flacco than they were with rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, but either way, they don't look like a playoff team.

The Browns were beaten by the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday and have now lost two games in a row. The Broncos also own the head-to-head tiebreaker against this team.

8. Houston Texans (7-5)

The Texans beat the Broncos on Sunday and are probably a better team than the Steelers, Colts and Browns, but if the season ended right now, they would still be out of the playoffs.

They now have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Broncos but it's not hard to envision a scenario where the Broncos and Texans both make the playoffs over two of the teams listed above.

9. Denver Broncos (6-6)

The Broncos lost in Week 13, but a play here or there going differently, and we are having a different conversation. The Broncos had a chance to win this game and they will learn from the defeat.

10. Buffalo Bills (6-6)

The Bills had a bye in Week 13 and despite being so far down on this list, are probably the scariest and most talented team in contention. However, the Broncos also own the head-to-head tiebreaker over them.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)

The Bengals take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, the current AFC South division leader, on Monday night. Broncos fans should be rooting for Jacksonville in this game as a loss would drop the Bengals to 5-7, which would be one game below the Broncos in the standings.


There is still a lot of football to play and these standings are bound to change, especially since it's not hard at all to make an argument that the trio of Houston, Denver and Buffalo is better than the trio of Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Cleveland.