NFL Playoff Picture: Denver Broncos Find Back Way Into Postseason

The NFL playoff bracket is almost set. The New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys settle the NFC East on Sunday Night Football.

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5 Total Updates since January 1, 2012
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NFL Playoffs 2012: Printable Bracket Allows Us To Imagine Denver Broncos Victories

The 2012 NFL playoff picture was settled on Saturday afternoon, and the Denver Broncos were the lucky recipients of an Oakland Raiders loss. The Broncos had lost to the Kansas City Chiefs during a late afternoon game, ending the team's win-and-in route to the playoffs. The Raiders game lasted longer than the Broncos' one because the team was close to coming back against the San Diego Chargers. But an interception by the Chargers ended that threat. The Broncos won the AFC West by losing its last three games and through the failure of the Raiders as well.

MORE: NFL Playoff Schedule

The New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys battled for the last playoff spot on Sunday Night Football, the game being flexed to NBC over the Broncos. The Giants took care of business and defeated the Cowboys, 31-14, to win the NFC East and the No. 4 seed in the NFC bracket.

Click on the images below for a complete printable bracket:

Nfl2012bracket_medium

Nfl2012bracket-giants2_medium

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head to Broncos blog Mile High Report and Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For more news and notes from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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NFL Playoff Schedule 2012: Denver Broncos Host Pittsburgh Steelers On Jan. 8

The Denver Broncos lost to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon and did not make the playoffs in the fashion they'd hoped to, but make the playoffs they did. Game times and television information has been released for all of the Wildcard weekend games; the Denver Broncos will host Pittsburgh on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 2:30 p.m. MT. CBS will have the coverage.

The other AFC Wildcard contest, between Cincinnati and Houston, kicks off on Jan. 7 at 2:30 p.m. MT on NBC.

Over in the NFC, Detroit will play New Orleans on Jan. 7 at 6:00 p.m. MT (NBC), while either the New York Giants or Dallas Cowboys will host Atlanta on Jan. 8 at 11:00 a.m. MT (Fox).

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head to Broncos blog Mile High Report and Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For more news and notes from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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NFL Playoff Picture: Denver Broncos Make Playoffs For First Time Since 2005 Season

With the NFC East playoff spot still to be determined on Sunday Night Football, the rest of the NFL Playoff field is set. In the AFC, it came down to the final minutes of the season for the playoff picture to come fully into focus.

The No. 1 overall seed in the AFC is the New England Patriots, who won the AFC East and finished with a 13-3 record. As the No.1 seed, the Patriots have homefield advantage throughout the postseason. The Baltimore Ravens clinched the No. 2 seed and the AFC North title with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in their season-finale.

Houston won the first AFC South title in franchise history and clinched the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. The Texans will face the Cincinnati Benglas, who earned a Wild Card spot after finishing third in the AFC North. The Pittsburgh Steelers, who entered Sunday with a chance to earn the No. 1 seed, will instead be the No. 5 seed and travel to Denver to face the AFC West Champions.

In the NFC, the Green Bay Packers earned the No.1 overall seed after a 15-1 season. Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers clinched a bye and the No. 2 seed with a 34-27 victory over the St. Louis Rams in the season-finale.

New Orleans will be the No. 3 seed and will host the Detroit Lions in what could be the most exciting matchup of the opening weekend of the playoffs. The No. 4 seed will be the winner of the game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. The winner of that game will host the Atlanta Falcons, who locked up the No. 5 seed with a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Stay tuned to SB Nation NFL for all the playoff news and notes.

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NFL Playoff Picture: Oakland Raiders Must Win, Hope For Denver Broncos Loss To Continue Season

The Oakland Raiders saw their playoff hopes dim by a degree on Sunday afternoon after the completion of a couple of early games. The Raiders' only hope of making the playoffs now is, in addition to a win against the San Diego Charger, to see the Denver Broncos lose to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Raiders earlier had a chance to make the playoffs with a win plus help from several other teams. However, none of that came to fruition during the first series of games on Sunday. The New York Jets needed to defeat the Miami Dolphins to help the Raiders, but Miami took a 19-17 victory. The Tennessee Titans needed to lose to the Houston Texans, but they wound up winning, 23-22. Because those outcomes occurred, a Bengals loss does not help the Raiders (but it could the Titans for a Wild Card spot)..

Now the Raiders need a win and a prayer for Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos to lose.

Be sure to check out SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.

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NFL Playoff Scenarios: Denver Broncos Need Victory Over Kansas City Chiefs To Make Postseason

The Denver Broncos need to focus on the simplest way of making it into the NFL playoffs this season: defeat the Kansas City Chiefs on New Year's Day. It sounds simple, but putting that into practice will obviously be much tougher to do. Yet it is still that simple. A victory gives the Broncos the AFC West over the Oakland Raiders, who would be 9-7 as well with a win but lose out on the tie breakers.

The Broncos could also get in with an Oakland loss to the San Diego Chargers, but both games take place at the same time. It is not the preferable way for the team to get into the playoffs, but it would work in a pinch should the Chiefs defeat the Broncos. But no one on the Broncos would want a backdoor into the playoffs.

The Raiders could still make the playoffs if they and the Broncos win. Here is a list of the complete playoff scenarios for the Broncos and the Raiders:

Denver Broncos

Denver clinches AFC West division with
1) DEN win OR
2) DEN tie + OAK loss or tie OR
3) OAK loss

Oakland Raiders

Oakland clinches AFC West division with
1) OAK win + DEN loss or tie OR
2) OAK tie + DEN loss

*Oakland clinches a playoff spot with
1) OAK win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie OR
2) OAK win + CIN loss + NYJ win

For more on this Week 17 game, visit Broncos blog Mile High Report and Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride. Be sure to check out SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.

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