Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/27/12
The Denver Broncos currently have a record of 8-3, have won their past six games and are sitting comfortably atop of the AFC West division.With quarterback Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos playing well, two questions come to mind.First, can the Broncos run the table and finish the season with a 13-3 record? Second, how well will the Broncos do in the playoffs?This article will answer both of those questions.         ScheduleWhen it comes to Denver’s remaining schedule, the Broncos could realistically win their last five games of the season. Denver is only playing two teams that currently have a winning record, while their other three games are against Cleveland, Oakland, and Kansas City with two of those three games being at home.The two good teams Denver has left to play are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 13 and the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15.Tampa BayThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently 6-5, with a 5-2 record since their Week 5 bye and are 3-0 against the AFC West this season.One issue currently for Tampa Bay is their pass defense. Tampa Bay is currently ranked 30th in total yards allowed, ranked dead last in passing yards allowed, and are tied for 20th in total points allowed.On the other side of the ball Denver is currently ranked fourth in total yards, sixth in total passing yards, and in third in total points scored.For Tampa Bay on offense, quarterback Josh Freeman has passed for 1,971 yards, 16 touchdowns, and three interceptions in the Buccaneers' last seven games. Additionally, rookie Doug Martin has accumulated 1,050 rushing yards with nine rushing touchdowns.However Denver’s defense is currently ranked fifth in total passing yards allowed, ninth in total rushing yards allowed and eighth in total points allowed.A strong passing day from Manning and a stifling defense will help Denver edge Tampa Bay.BaltimoreThe Baltimore Ravens are 9-2 having been embarrassed by the Houston Texans and having lost a close game to the Philadelphia Eagles. However, despite Baltimore’s impressive record in six games this season the Ravens' margin of victory has been seven points or less.One problem that Baltimore is having right now is being effective in their running game. Baltimore is currently ranked 21st in average rushing yards per game with 101.6, and star running back Ray Rice had only 75 combined rushing yards in Weeks 10 and 11 against Oakland and Pittsburgh, while not scoring in Baltimore’s last two games.Another problem is quarterback Joe Flacco is winning games but not doing so impressively. Flacco has finished two games this season with a pass completion rate less than 50 percent while finishing another two games with a percentage less than 60 percent. Additionally Flacco is ranked 17th in number of touchdown passes thrown with 14.Lastly, Baltimore’s defense has been banged up this season and is ranked 26th in average rushing yards allowed and 23rd in average passing yards allowed.While Baltimore has the impressive record, Denver and Manning have found their groove and should be able to defeat a weaker Baltimore team.Therefore, Denver will finish the season 13-3.Playoffs In the playoffs I have Houston and Denver in the first two seeds, with Baltimore third, New England fourth, Pittsburgh fifth, and Indianapolis sixth.Therefore, Denver would get a bye and not have to play wild card weekend. In the divisional round Houston would play Indianapolis while Denver would get a rematch against the New England Patriots.In the rematch Denver keeps the game close throughout but in the end are able to slip by New England to reach the AFC Championship game.In the AFC Championship game Denver would take on the Houston Texans. In another rematch from the regular season, Denver avenges their second loss in as many weeks and advance to the Super Bowl.Final Analysis John Elway, John Fox and the rest of the Denver Broncos management are looking pretty good right now in relation to making the decision to sign Peyton Manning.If Manning can remain healthy and the Broncos can bring in some more good talent, Elway may not be the only Denver Broncos player to win two Super Bowls. 
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