What the Broncos would need to break their way to make the playoffs

Denver Broncos
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The Broncos should win out to end the 2023 season. The Broncos should be favorites in each game they play, aside from their final game if they lose out and the Raiders win out. A 3-0 finish gives the Broncos a 10-7 record and an 80% chance of making the playoffs according to the New York Times.

However, with how crowded the AFC playoffs are, there are still chances for the Broncos to miss the playoffs, regardless of what they do down the stretch. The Broncos are going to need help from other NFL teams to make the playoffs. Let's take a look at what kind of help the Broncos might need to sneak into the big dance in January, should they go 3-0 down the stretch.

1) Dolphins win the AFC East

Surprisingly, this is the most important factor for the Broncos if they finish 10-7. If the Broncos win out and the Dolphins win the East, the NYT gives the Broncos roughly a 92% chance of making the playoffs. This would effectively reduce the Bills to just a player for the 7th seed. The doomsday for the Broncos would be an 11-6 Miami team occupying a wild-card spot. The Broncos are only really in play for the 6 or 7 seed, based on the Browns already being 9-5.

A second team securely in a wild card spot with 10+ wins would push the Broncos to contend just for the 7th seed. The Bills missing the playoffs would be a plus for any team in the field, but in a world where the Broncos are 10-7, a 10-7 Bills team also missing the playoffs would be massive due to the Broncos would have the tiebreaker over them based on in conference wins and a head-to-head, should they be the only 10-7 teams left.