Denver Broncos | News

Week 15 Playoff Scenarios: Broncos in with a win

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Despite last Sunday's loss, the Broncos head into this weekend knowing a win can clinch their fifth consecutive postseason trip, no matter what happens in any other games.

Denver can earn a postseason bid by virtue of defeating the Steelers, which would assure them of no worse than a wild-card bid. But earning a division title this week would still require some help from the Baltimore Ravens, who host the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium early Sunday afternoon.

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DENVER BRONCOS

... can clinch the AFC West with:
1) DEN win AND KC loss or tie
OR
2) DEN tie AND KC loss

... can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) DEN win
OR
2) DEN tie AND NYJ loss

Sunday's 15-12 loss to Oakland ensured that the Broncos cannot earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs on their own; they must win out and have the Patriots lose once.

But the Broncos' path to a first-round bye remains clear, if difficult given the quality of their opposition: win two of their last three games, assuming that one of the two wins is against the Bengals on Monday Night Football on Dec. 28.

A look at how the playoff scenarios shake out:

AFC

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

... have clinched the AFC East ...

... can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) NE win DEN loss
OR
2) NE win CIN loss DEN tie

**

CINCINNATI BENGALS**

... can clinch the AFC North with:
1) CIN win or tie PIT tie
OR
2) PIT loss

... can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) CIN win
OR
2) NYJ loss
OR
3) KC loss
OR
4) CIN tie KC tie
OR
5) CIN tie NYJ tie NFC

CAROLINA PANTHERS

... have clinched the NFC South and a first-round bye ...

... can clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1) CAR win ARI loss or tie
OR
2) CAR tie ARI loss

**

ARIZONA CARDINALS**

... can clinch the NFC West with:
1) ARI win or tie
OR
2) SEA loss or tie
OR
3) ARI clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over SEA (Note: ARI clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over SEA if all of the following occurs: CIN win, NO win, DAL loss, PIT loss)

... can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) ARI win GB loss or tie
OR
2) ARI tie GB loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (at Oakland, Sunday)

... can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) GB win or tie OR
OR
2) TB loss or tie WAS loss or tie
OR
3) TB loss or tie NYG loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

... can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) SEA win TB loss or tie NYG loss or tie
OR
2) SEA win TB loss or tie WAS loss or tie
OR
3) SEA win TB loss or tie ATL loss or tie MIN loss GB win or tie
OR
4) SEA tie TB loss ATL loss or tie NYG loss
OR
5) SEA tie TB loss ATL loss or tie WAS loss PHI loss or tie

**

MINNESOTA VIKINGS**

... can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) MIN win TB loss or tie WAS loss or tie ATL loss or tie
OR
2) MIN win TB loss or tie WAS loss or tie SEA loss or tie
OR
3) MIN win TB loss or tie NYG loss or tie ATL loss or tie
OR
4) MIN win TB loss or tie NYG loss or tie SEA loss or tie
OR
5) MIN tie TB loss ATL loss or tie PHI loss or tie WAS loss
OR
6) MIN tie TB loss ATL loss or tie PHI loss or tie NYG loss
OR
7) MIN tie TB loss ATL loss or tie WAS loss or tie NYG loss or tie (as long as WAS and NYG both don't tie)


PLAYOFF SEEDING HEADING INTO WEEK 15:
(Tiebreakers, if applicable, are in parentheses)

AFC

  1. New England, 11-2-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.410
  1. Cincinnati, 10-3-0 (conference record over DEN)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.462
  1. Denver, 10-3-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.538
  1. Indianapolis, 6-7-0 (head-to-head over HOU)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.359
  1. Kansas City, 8-5-0 (conference record over NYJ and PIT)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.333
  1. N.Y. Jets, 8-5-0 (conference record over PIT)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.538

STILL IN THE HUNT:

  1. Pittsburgh, 8-5-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.436
  1. Oakland, 6-7-0 (conference record over BUF and HOU)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.583
  1. Buffalo, 6-7-0 (head-to-head over HOU)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.438
  1. Houston, 6-7-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.479
  1. Jacksonville, 5-8-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.410

ELIMINATED:

  1. Miami, 5-8-0
    1. Baltimore, 4-9-0
    2. San Diego, 3-10-0
    3. Tennessee, 3-10-0
    4. Cleveland, 3-10-0
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NFC

  1. Carolina, 13-0-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.462
  1. Arizona, 11-2-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.590
  1. Green Bay, 9-4-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.641
  1. Washington, 6-7-0 (head-to-head over NYG and PHI)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.410
  1. Seattle, 8-5-0 (head-to-head over MIN)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.487
  1. Minnesota, 8-5-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.513

STILL IN THE HUNT:

  1. Tampa Bay, 6-7-0 (head-to-head over ATL, then head-to-head over PHI)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.590
  1. Atlanta, 6-7-0 (head-to-head over PHI)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.564
  1. Philadelphia, 6-7-0 (head-to-head over NYG)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.590
  1. N.Y. Giants, 6-7-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.692
  1. St. Louis, 5-8-0 (conference record over STL and CHI)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.462
  1. New Orleans, 5-8-0 (conference record over CHI)
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.385
  1. Chicago, 5-8-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.462
  1. Dallas, 4-9-0
    Remaining opponent winning percentage:.513

ELIMINATED:

  1. Detroit, 4-9-0
    1. San Francisco, 4-9-0

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