The Denver Broncos started off the 2009 season hot - very hot.
They won six straight games to start the season, including victories over playoff teams the Bengals, Patriots and the Chargers. Unfortunately for Bronco fans, the team followed up those six straight wins with four straight losses.
This is a familiar feeling for Broncos fans - starting hot and falling apart down the stretch. In 2008, the Broncos were 8-5 and lost their last three games. In Week 11 of the 2007 season, the Broncos sat at 5-5 and went 2-4 down the stretch to miss the playoffs. In 2006, the Broncos were 7-2, only to end up missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
And now the Broncos are teetering on the edge of the playoffs, having lost seven of their last nine games.
What does that mean for this weekend's Chiefs/Broncos contest? The Chiefs have a chance to spoil the Broncos' playoff chances with a win at that corporate named stadium of there's.
Let's see what the 8-7 Denver Broncos need to do to get into the playoffs and what a Kansas City Chiefs' win does to those chances.
Here's how the AFC playoff picture looks right now, courtesy of CBS Sports (D means division winner and B means first round bye):
|2||San Diego (DB)||West||12-3-0|
|3||New England (D)||East||10-5-0|
|Still alive (below)|
As you can see, the Broncos are essentially fighting the Jets, Ravens, Steelers and Texans for the final two playoff spots in the AFC. They're all 8-7 which means we're likely going to see some tiebreakers come into play.
Now, if you Google Broncos playoff scenarios, you're going to get all of these different scenarios if the Broncos win and what needs to happen. I'm assuming we don't care how the Broncos make the playoffs if the Chiefs don't beat them.
In a nutshell, if the Broncos lose to the Chiefs, they need a ton of help to get into the playoffs. If Denver loses to the Kansas City this weekend, here are the only ways they can get into the playoffs:
- Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Houston loss + Jacksonville loss;
- Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Houston loss + New York Jets loss;
- Pittsburgh loss + Baltimore loss + Jacksonville loss + New York Jets loss;
- Pittsburgh loss + Houston loss + Jacksonville loss + New York Jets loss; or,
- MIA loss or tie + New York Jets loss + Baltimore loss + Houston loss + Jacksonville loss or tie
Basically, the Broncos need a bunch of 8-7 and 7-8 teams to lose as well if the Chiefs take them down.
How likely are these losses if the Broncos lose too? Let's see. The Steelers play Miami which really could go either way. The Ravens take on the Raiders, which is a game you would hope Baltimore wins. The Jets play the Bengals, which could be affected by the Bengals already being in the playoffs and resting their starters.
The Broncos would need so much help to get into the playoffs it's ridiculous. Then again, it was pretty nuts that the Chiefs made the playoffs in 2006 after a bit of luck came their way.
How about it Chiefs fans? Do the Broncos get jacked up for this game and make the playoffs?