The Denver Broncos have found themselves in a sticky situation playoff-wise. Could the defending champs really miss out entirely?
The Denver Broncos are not in a literal must-win mode right now, but they are in a bit of a pickle with five games remaining.
After dropping their first division game of the season to the San Diego Chargers, the Broncos quickly got back on the board two weeks later and beat San Diego in Denver. Since then, the Broncos have lost two consecutive games within the division — on the road in Oakland, and at home against Kansas City.
Article continues below ...
There’s no requirement for winning every division game unless you are as tightly contested as the three teams atop the AFC West currently are. And by the way, the Chargers are still lurking around at 5-6…
It’s been a long while since the Broncos had a .500 or below record in division play, but they have no choice other than to finish 3-3 this season if they want any shot of winning a sixth straight division title.
Perhaps that title is not even on their minds right now, as the primary goal is to simply get into the playoffs. The AFC is loaded this year with teams that are vying for playoff spots, even though no team has been perfect.
The AFC West, in particular, has presented a unique challenge for other teams in competitive divisions looking to obtain at least a Wild Card spot. The Broncos found themselves knocked out of the current playoff picture after this weekend, where we saw victories by not only Oakland, Kansas City, and San Diego, but New England, Miami, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh.
It honestly couldn’t have been a worse weekend for the Broncos.
That said, it’s time for Denver to buck up and get ready for a gruesome stretch of football in the season’s fourth quarter. They round out the third quarter on Sunday against the Jaguars in Jacksonville, and begin their fourth quarter of the season against the Tennessee Titans, who are also in contention for a spot out of the AFC South.
Like I said, it’s not going to be easy…
The Broncos understand that these games are ‘must-win’ not because they have been mathematically eliminated, but because you don’t want to rely on week 16 or 17 to be the week you punch your ticket. The more games you win now, the quicker you can cement your spot.