The extremely mediocre AFC continues to be good news for the Broncos
The would’ve, could’ve, should’ve for the Broncos through five weeks is extremely frustrating.
If one lousy play goes their way against the Seahawks and Colts, Denver would sit at 4-1, tied with the Chiefs atop the AFC West. In fact, they’d be tied with Kansas City and Buffalo for the No. 1 seed in the entire AFC.
But even with that frustrating fact, the reality is Denver hasn’t played good football thus far. While 4-1 is a possibility, so is 0-5. It’s not like the wins against the Texans and 49ers were aesthetically pleasing.
So maybe 2-3 is exactly where the Broncos deserve to be. The old saying “you are what your record says you are” seems to fit this underachieving group through five games in 2022.
But a peek at the standings reveals it’s not all bad news for Denver, as they look to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season. The AFC is mediocre, outside of the Bills (4-1), Chiefs (4-1) and Ravens (3-2). Those three will likely win their divisions. Someone has to win the AFC South, and for arguments sake, let’s say it’s the 3-2 Titans.
That leaves Denver competing for three wild card spots with the likes of the Jets (3-2), Dolphins (3-2), Chargers (3-2), Colts (2-2-1), Jaguars (2-3), Patriots (2-3), Browns (2-3) and Bengals (2-3). The good news? That’s not exactly the most talented bunch. It’s a mix of underachievers, surprises due for a regression and flat out average teams.
The bad news? Including the Broncos, that’s nine squads battling for a precious three spots. Denver didn’t do itself any favors losing to Indy, as that’s one head-to-head tiebreaker that already won’t go their way.
It adds even more importance to the game next Monday night in Los Angeles. Beat the Chargers, and the Broncos will be tied with them at 3-3 and feeling alright after a bumpy first six weeks. Lose, and sitting at 2-4, it’s going to be a tough hole to climb out of.
The point being, for as mad as Broncos Country is, there’s still a lot of season left. And there will still be a ton of shuffling in the standings, with nearly half the conference making the playoffs.
Things are not great right now in Denver. But it’s also not a lost cause; there’s plenty of time for the Broncos to salvage their 2022 season.