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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.