Losers of their last three games, including a 7-3 defeat at home to the Kansas City Chiefs this afternoon, the Denver Broncos are nonetheless playoff bound because of their good fortune to play in a division where every other team either stinks (Oakland Raiders) or had an off year (San Diego Chargers and Kansas City).
Not only are they in the playoffs, because they won the AFC West they get to host a wildcard playoff game. So next weekend, the Broncos, who finished 8-8 this year, will welcome the 12-4 Pittsburgh Steelers to Mile High Stadium (or Sports Authority Field at Mile High, as it’s now called).
The game today had an intriguing subplot as Kyle Orton, the QB that Tim Tebow replaced as starter in Denver earlier this season, was the starting quarterback for Kansas City. In the Chiefs’ victory, Orton was 15 of 29 for 175 yards. Tebow, on the other hand, was 6 of 22 for 60 yards with one interception. While scrambling in the second quarter he also puked the ball up so ended up committing two turnovers.
TSN has a report on the game here. Already, commenters are wading in, predicting an overwhelming Steeler victory next weekend. Since Denver’s arguably one of the worst teams to ever make the NFL playoffs it’s hard to disagree with that assessment. Still, they do have home-field advantage. So if there’s a mega snowstorm that renders the Steelers’ potent passing attack ineffective or some other miraculous occurrence, like the Steelers all coming down with food poisoning on the eve of the game, the Broncos could advance to face the New England Patriots or Baltimore Ravens in the next round of the AFC playoffs.