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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.

Josh Paschal #93 of the Detroit Lions sacks Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos during the second quarter at Ford Field on December 16, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos lost an ugly one in Week 15, giving up five touchdown passes to Jared Goff and losing 42-17 to the Lions. The Broncos entered the game having won six of seven to pull to within a game of the Chiefs in the AFC West and a tie with five other teams in the wild card race. The loss drops them into a precarious position.

Denver heads into Week 16 sitting two games back of the Chiefs with three games to go and none against Kansas City. They drop to a game back of the Bengals and Colts in the wild card race. The Broncos remaining schedule is ideal for winning games, but not ideal for getting a crack at playoff contenders ahead of them.

Denver Broncos current odds

DraftKings odds: To make the playoffs — Yes +230, No -300; AFC West +3000
DVOA playoff odds: 25.8%
ESPN FPI: 21.4%
NY Times odds: 21%

Upcoming Schedule

Week 16: vs. New England Patriots
Week 17: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Week 18: @ Las Vegas Raiders

All three games are winnable, and frankly, if they lose any of them they don’t deserve a playoff spot. The road game against the Raiders is the toughest remaining, but they should win that one.

Final record prediction: 9-8

Current AFC playoff standings

1. Baltimore Ravens, 11-3 — clinched playoff berth
2. Miami Dolphins, 10-4
3. Kansas City Chiefs, 9-5
4. Jacksonville Jaguars, 8-6

5. Cleveland Browns, 9-5
6. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-6
7. Indianapolis Colts, 8-6

8. Houston Texans, 8-6
9. Buffalo Bills, 8-6
10. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-7
11. Denver Broncos, 7-7
12. Las Vegas Raiders, 6-8


The Broncos are going to come up short of a playoff berth. If they win out, they’ll finish ahead of the Bengals in the conference record tiebreaker, but they also lost to the Texans, which means they need to get one game clear of them to jump ahead in the playoff standings. The Colts don’t have the head-to-head tiebreaker, but are 1.5 games up in the conference record tiebreaker.