Monday, December 06, 2004

More Bronco rants

Yes, I know there are more important things going on in the world, but indulge me while I do my annual "did the Broncos screw it up big-time again?" playoff guessing!

In answer to the above question: no, not yet. Thanks to Baltimore losing yesterday, Denver is still tied for the last playoff spot in the AFC. Granted, if the season ended today, the Ravens would get that spot thanks to their conference record. But buck up, B-man fans: after the likely outcome of this weekend's games, Denver SHOULD be 8-5 and no worse than tied with the Ravens in terms of conference record as well (Baltimore plays an NFC team in a game that they will probably win). In fact, let's look head-to-head at the OTHER teams involved in the playoff race:

BALTIMORE has two games they should win, both at home, and 2 games that I don't think anybody would want to have on their schedule (on the road at Indianapolis and Pittsburgh). I'd have to say that it's likely that they'll end up 9-7, with a 6-6 conference record. However, if they sneak in a 10th win, they'll be pretty happy.

JACKSONVILLE let a key game slip away last night as Pittsburgh continues to prove that they are one of the top teams in the league. While it was a bad loss for the Jags, they have the easiest road to go for the remaining 4 weeks, with only one game that SHOULD prove challenging (that being on the road in Green Bay. . .in December. . .ugh!) So I have to say that I find it likely that they'll end up 9-7--and I'm not ruling out a 10-6 finish (which, if it happens, probably gives them the last playoff spot).

CINCINNATI and BUFFALO are both 6-6, but they play each other two weeks from today (in Cincy) in Buffalo's toughest remaining game. Cincy will likely enter that game at 6-7 (they play at New England this weekend). Denver owns tiebreakers over Buffalo (the ONLY team that they hold a tie-breaker over right now), so Buffalo has got to win this game to keep it's playoff hopes alive. Cincy has another could-be tough game left, at Philly in the final week of the season--but who knows if Philly will be in playoff-rest mode by then. (My recommendation: heck no! They already get a bye week the next week)

ANYHOW. . .IF Denver loses just one remaining game, they've got a good chance (realistically, only Jax and Baltimore could match a 10-6 record, and I find that chance fairly slim). If they stumble and lose 2 more, than I gotta say that they're out of it. So many tie-breakers work against them that I don't think the Broncs could get in at 9-7 (whereas Cincy and Jax could). And as an aside: if Denver ends up 9-7, they don't DESERVE to be sniffing the playoffs. Not with the gift of a schedule they were given this year!

By the way, Denver plays one real tough game (Indy in the last week of the season), two pretty tough games (on the road at KC and Tennessee) and one should-be W (home against Miami).

Okay, that's the good news. Here's the bad: this Denver team hasn't won a single game against a team that was playing well at the time. The San Diego team that Denver escaped from in week 3 has no resemblance to the one that is playing for the Chargers now; Tampa's offense was worse than you read about in week 4; Carolina wasn't all too good in week 5; on and on and on. So while we may still make the playoffs, I don't think that this is a team that has the ability to cause any damage in the postseason. No, I think they're just good enough to break their fan's hearts again.


Blogger babs said...

Oh, I hope they don't make it to the playoffs. I don't think I could stand the pain.

3:59 PM  

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