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The playoff push: A look at Denver's playoff odds and which teams Broncos fans should cheer for in Week 15

The NFL playoffs are inching closer, and the Broncos are firmly in the mix for their first postseason berth since they won the Super Bowl to cap the 2015 season.

Over the coming weeks, we'll take a look at the Broncos' playoff odds, how the standings currently look and who Broncos fans should root for in games across the league.

BRONCOS' PLAYOFF ODDS

Current odds via the New York Times' playoff predictor: 25%
With a win over the Bengals: 39%
With a loss to the Bengals: 9%

Note: The New York Times' playoff predictor runs thousands of simulations to make its predictions. Therefore, the exact percentages used above could appear slightly different if a new simulation is run.

CURRENT AFC STANDINGS

1. New England Patriots (9-4) — AFC East leader
Remaining schedule: at Colts, vs. Bills, vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins

2. Tennessee Titans (9-4) — AFC South leader
Remaining schedule: at Steelers, vs. 49ers, vs. Dolphins, at Texans

3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-4) — AFC West leader
Remaining schedule: at Chargers, vs. Steelers, at Bengals, at Broncos

4. Baltimore Ravens (8-5) — AFC North leader
Remaining schedule: vs. Packers, at Bengals, vs. Rams, vs. Steelers

5. Los Angeles Chargers (8-5) – Wild card No. 1
Remaining schedule: vs. Chiefs, at Texans, vs. Broncos, at Raiders

6. Indianapolis Colts (7-6) — Wild card No. 2
Remaining schedule: vs. Patriots, at Cardinals, vs. Raiders, at Jaguars

7. Buffalo Bills (7-6) — Wild card No. 3
Remaining schedule: vs. Panthers, at Patriots, vs. Falcons, vs. Jets

8. Cleveland Browns (7-6)
Remaining schedule: vs. Raiders, at Packers, at Steelers, vs. Bengals

9. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)
Remaining schedule: at Broncos, vs. Ravens, vs. Chiefs, at Browns

10. Denver Broncos (7-6)
Remaining schedule: vs. Bengals, at Raiders, at Chargers, vs. Chiefs

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1)
Remaining schedule: vs. Titans, at Chiefs, vs. Browns, at Ravens

12. Las Vegas Raiders (6-7)
Remaining schedule: at Browns, vs. Broncos, at Colts, vs. Chargers

13. Miami Dolphins (6-7)
Remaining schedule: vs. Jets, at Saints, at Titans, vs. Patriots

WHO BRONCOS FANS SHOULD ROOT FOR IN WEEK 15:

Chiefs at Chargers — Thursday, Dec. 16, 6:20 p.m. MT on FOX/NFLN/Amazon

You should root for … the Chiefs. Denver's playoff chances improve by three percentage points with a Chiefs win.

Additional commentary: The Broncos still have a chance at the division through a couple of different avenues. Here's one: If the Chargers beat the Chiefs this week and the Broncos win out, Denver would take the AFC West crown. That scenario, though, doesn't give the Broncos much wiggle room. If the Chargers were to win and the Broncos can't make up enough ground in the division race, the added victory for LA would potentially put one of the wild-card spots out of reach. Right now, the Broncos' path to playoffs is likely through a wild-card berth. According to the New York Times' playoff simulator, Denver currently has a 20 percent chance to earn a wild-card spot and just a four percent chance to win the division. In a perfect world, the Broncos would go on a run to win the AFC West, but the Broncos' overall playoff odds are better if the Chiefs win this week.

Raiders at Browns — Saturday, Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m. MT on NFL Network

You should root for … the Raiders. Denver's playoff chances improve by three percentage points with a Raiders win.

Additional commentary: The Raiders already have seven losses, while the Browns have just six. While a Browns victory would likely knock the Raiders out of any sort of playoff contention, the Broncos can hand the Raiders that loss in Week 16. It's better for the Broncos if the Browns pick up their seventh loss. The fewer teams that can ultimately reach 10 wins, the better it is for the Broncos. A win by the Raiders paired with Chiefs and Broncos victories would put Denver in the playoff field through Week 15.

Patriots at Colts — Saturday, Dec. 18, 6:15 p.m. MT on NFL Network

You should root for … the Patriots. Denver's playoff chances improve by five percentage points with a Patriots win.

Additional commentary: The Colts are another team with seven wins that could get to 10 wins and steal a spot from the Broncos. Indianapolis, though, needs to finish 3-1 to get to 10 wins — and they play the top-seeded Patriots and NFC West-leading Cardinals in back-to-back weeks. If the Colts go 0-2 over the next two weeks, it opens up a potential wild-card spot for Denver. A win by the Patriots paired with Chiefs and Broncos victories would put Denver in the playoff field through Week 15.

Panthers at Bills — Sunday, Dec. 19, 11 a.m. MT on FOX

You should root for … the Panthers. Denver's playoff chances improve by three percentage points with a Panthers win.

Additional commentary: At 7-6 with one game remaining against New England, the Bills have little room for error. An upset loss to the Panthers could make it very difficult for Buffalo to get to 10 wins.

Titans at Steelers — Sunday, Dec. 19, 11 a.m. MT on CBS

You should root for … the Titans. Denver's playoff chances improve by two percentage points with a Titans win.

Additional commentary: The Steelers are already behind the Broncos in the standings, but one more loss would prevent Pittsburgh from getting to 10 wins.

Bengals at Broncos — Sunday, Dec. 19, 2:05 p.m. MT on CBS

You should root for … the Broncos. Denver's playoff chances improve by 14 percentage points with a Broncos win.

Additional commentary: Duh. Denver needs to keep winning, particularly against teams that are in the wild-card race.

Packers at Ravens — Sunday, Dec. 19 at 4:25 p.m. MT on FOX

You should root for … the Packers. Denver's playoff chances improve by one percentage point with a Packers win.

Additional commentary: A one percentage-point difference doesn't move the needle much, but any time an NFC team can knock off an AFC team the rest of the way, it's good news for the Broncos. The Ravens are just one game ahead in the AFC North, and they could end up as a player in the wild-card race.

Note: The New York Times' playoff predictor runs thousands of simulations to make its predictions. Therefore, the exact percentages used above could appear slightly different if a new simulation is run.

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