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What are the chances Broncos make the playoffs?

We discuss whether or not the Denver Broncos will make the AFC playoffs.

Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos talks with head coach Sean Payton of the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field At Mile High on October 29, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos struggled out of the gate this season, losing five of their first six games. It’s not entirely clear why things changed, but the Broncos suddenly find themselves one of the hottest teams in the NFL with a month remaining in the regular season.

The Broncos are 7-6 after winning six of their past seven games. They thumped the Chargers this past week, and have wins over the Packers, Chiefs, and Bills. They have a critical win over the Browns but lost a tough one to the Texans. As the playoff race comes down the home stretch, those results could prove critical in head-to-head tiebreakers.

Denver heads into Week 15 in ninth place overall, tied with the Steelers, Colts, Texans, Bengals, and Bills.

Denver Broncos current odds

DraftKings odds: To make playoffs — Yes +130, No -165; AFC West — +750
DVOA playoff odds: 41.9%
ESPN FPI: 37.6%
NY Times odds: 48%

Upcoming Schedule

Week 15: @ Lions
Week 16: vs. Patriots
Week 17: vs. Chargers
Week 18: @ Raiders

That Lions game is a fascinating one with Detroit struggling to two losses in their past three games. Detroit is a five-point home favorite and I have no idea how to bet that game. I would lean Denver just given how much Detroit has struggled the past three weeks. And if the Broncos can get a win in Detroit, they’re set up for a potential four straight wins to close the season.

I’ll go with a win over the Lions, but I could see an upset somewhere in those final three games. I’ll go with a 3-1 record down this final stretch to finish 10-7.

Final record prediction: 10-7

Current AFC playoff standings

  1. Baltimore Ravens 10-3
  2. Miami Dolphins 9-3
  3. Kansas City Chiefs 8-5
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars 8-5
  5. Cleveland Browns 8-5
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6
  7. Indianapolis Colts 7-6
  8. Houston Texans 7-6
  9. Denver Broncos 7-6
  10. Cincinnati bengals 7-6
  11. Buffalo Bills 7-6

Verdict

Sean Payton will lead the Broncos back to the playoffs this season. They’ve got one of the more favorable schedules remaining and could be in position with some key tiebreakers.