What the Broncos need to do to become a true contender

Minnesota Vikings v Denver Broncos
Minnesota Vikings v Denver Broncos / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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3) Win within the conference

The AFC wild card picture is jumbled up right now. After head-to-head results, playoff tiebreakers are settled by in-conference winning percentage. Currently, amongst other 5-5 teams, the Broncos hold a tiebreak over the Bengals due to AFC winning percentage but sit behind the Colts due to the same department. The Broncos have mainly AFC games remaining on their schedule, with just the Lions remaining as their only NFC opponent. The Broncos currently sit at 2-4 in conference games, a rate which simply won't cut it come time for tiebreakers to matter. Thankfully for the Broncos, they have only winnable games left on their in-conference schedule.

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Through their final seven games, the Broncos will face six AFC opponents: the Bears, the Texans, the Chargers twice, the Patriots, and the Raiders. Currently, the Broncos only have a game against a team with a winning record twice, and they both come within the next two weeks. If the Broncos can navigate their next two games and get to 7-5, the Broncos will play only teams with losing records, as of right now, and be in control of their own destiny. A 4-4 record within the conference, back-to-back wins over other wild card contenders, and controlling their own destiny would put their playoff chances in an incredibly strong position.