In order for the Denver Broncos to have a chance to make the postseason, they are going to have to do something that they haven't done in over a decade.
The Broncos sit at 7-7 following a disastrous loss to the Detroit Lions last Saturday and are going to need to close the season with three consecutive victories to have a chance to get into the playoffs at 10-7. But the last time the team accomplished that feat was in 2012, Peyton Manning's first in Denver.
The Broncos have struggled for some time so it's not hard to believe that they have not won three games in a row in any of the years that they have missed the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50. But they didn't even close that season with three straight wins.
That year, they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heniz Field in Week 15. That happened to be the same team they played in their first playoff game that season and some late heroics allowed them to win that game.
In 2014 and 2013, two seasons in which Manning was playing at an elite level, the team didn't even win three in a row to close out the year. So you have to go back to 2012, the season in which the Broncos won 11 games in a row after a 2-3 start. They finished that season with wins against the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.
That shows that even great Broncos teams have had a hard time accomplishing this and in the NFL, it is difficult for most teams. But the Broncos have the schedule to do it. They face the New England Patriots with Bailey Zappe, Los Angeles Chargers with Easton Stick and Las Vegas Raiders with Aidan O'Connell.
Those teams have a combined win-loss record of 14-28. The Patriots have had their worst season since going 2-14 in 1992 when Dick MacPherson was the head coach. The Chargers look like they have thrown the white towel in on the season, already firing head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco. The Raiders fired Josh McDaniels earlier this season and like the other two teams, are starting a backup quarterback.
If the Broncos can't finish with three straight wins this year, it may be a long time before they ever do.