Sunday, the Broncos have accepted the terrible setback of the Steelers. With a big win, Case Keenum may have cleared the track for Denver's first playoff appearance since winning the Super Bowl 49.
The 12th week win of 24 to 17 against Pittsburgh pushed the club to 5-6, but wins over the Steelers, Chargers and Seahawks are proof of the team's dangerousness. But the most compelling case for a playoff appearance in Denver is not the one where they've been so far, but one where the club is about to go; The Broncos have one of the easiest programs in the league in the last five weeks of the season.
Keenum and his teammates will face a series of opponents of thieves on the fly to finish 2018. Here's what their month of December looks like:
The only remaining winning team on the Denver calendar is the Chargers, who
a) have already lost to the Broncos at home, and
b) may have already sealed his fate in the playoffs before the 17th week, which led them to rest Philip Rivers and several other starters.
That makes John Elway's club an interesting bet to play in January. But the Broncos are not the only team to hover around .500 whose low-power program could pave the way for a surprising offer. Here are the five marginal playoff teams most likely to race in the next few weeks, ranked from the easiest to the hardest:
1. Denver Broncos
See above. Vance Joseph knows that Denver's defense is up to its capabilities and that the Broncos' ability to create the chaos and dew of rewards generated by clutch turnovers took up no less than 17 points on the board against the Steelers.
Washington does not have a real starting quarterback after Alex Smith's defeat following a bold rebound of Joe Theismann's leg injury in 1985. The club also does not have a team that has a record of winning. come. That's pretty amazing considering that four of these games are contested against the 2017 playoff teams, one against a team that collapsed in the fourth quarter against the Super Bowl Patriots and two against the champions in NFL title.
These are five win games for a team with Smith behind the center. With Colt McCoy? This will depend on Washington's ability to find additional equipment in December.
3. Seattle Seahawks
What was to be a year of reconstruction in Washington became one of Russell Wilson's best performances. Accompanied by Chris Carson and an effective game for the first time since 2014, the veteran quarterback has been masterful for the Seahawks this fall, recording a 25: 5 assists ratio while allowing his team to s & # 39; Imposing on other contenders like Cowboys, Packers and Panthers. And even when he is lost, he keeps his team close. The five defeats of Seattle this fall resulted in an average of five points per game.
The Seahawks are wrapping up their schedule with a tough game against the Chiefs, but this match will also be Patrick Mahomes' first match in the hostile environment of CenturyLink Field. The Vikings will also be a difficult test. Then, the rest of the team gives way to matches that will be thrown by C.J. Beathard, Nick Mullens or Josh Rosen at quarterback.
4. Colts of Indianapolis
- at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Houston Texans
- vs Dallas Cowboys
- vs New York Giants
- at Tennessee Titans
Andrew Luck rebounded after spending the 2017 season in shoulder injury. He has an excellent opportunity to bring Indianapolis back into the playoffs, assuming that Frank Reich does not force him to disappear this winter as a wide receiver at high risk and little reward. The Colts climbed above .500 despite a 1-5 start, thanks to a five-game winning streak that allowed Chris Ballard's rebuilding project to take a long shot.
There remain two games against Division Heads (Houston, Dallas). The same goes for a match against a team of Titans capable of annihilating the Patriots one week and being thrown a chance by luck. So, will 2018 mark Luck's comeback in the playoffs, or will it be a comeback to his 8-8 fates in 2015 and 2016?
5. Miami dolphins
- Buffalo Bills
- vs New England Patriots
- at Minnesota Vikings
- vs Jacksonville Jaguars
- at Buffalo Bills
The Dolphins split after a 3-0 start, but they will have several opportunities to sneak into the sixth and final place in the AFC playoffs, thanks to a sweet descent of 13-17 weeks. The Bills are hard to gauge but remain a team with five losses of 19 points or more in 2018. Beating the Vikings in Minnesota will be tough, but hey, the Bills have done it. And the Patriots have won AFC East in 14 of the last 15 years, but they are also 1-4 in their last five games in Miami.
Ryan Tannehill is back in training, and this upgrade (?) To quarterback as well as an easy back of the schedule could pave the way for the team's second playoff participation since 2008. Of course, since they have to face Buffalo twice, expect something bizarre to derail Miami.
Honorable Mention: Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson, though he must remain starter, will have three teams below .500 to complete his 2018. But one of them is a Falcons team led by a player-caliber par excellence, Matt Ryan, and his opponent from the 17th week will be an improved Browns team that won. Stop playing hard even if they finish their season with a meaningful match. If you participate in brutal road tours in Kansas City and Los Angeles, you'll have a tough road to the playoffs for 6 to 5 Baltimore.