The Denver Broncos captured the AFC Western Division title on Sunday. This was accomplished through no help of their own. See, the Broncos lost at the hands of their former starting quarterback Kyle Orton and the Kansas City Chiefs to finish the year at 8-8. How does this happen? The Oakland Raiders were beat like a kick drum by Jughead and the San Diego Chargers to lose any hope they had for the playoffs, and in turn, allowing the Broncos to win the division via the 3rd tie breaker — common opponents.
Now, without getting too deep into how that scenario all worked itself out, I’d like to flash back to last year when the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC west with a losing record of 7-9. This marked the first time a team had won a division crown with a record below .500. As we stand now, the Broncos are this years Seahawks.
Denver will welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to Sports Authority Field at Mile High next Sunday to keep a Tim Tebow dream alive. This sounds like a horrible matchup, and looks worse on paper, however let’s not forget the aforementioned Seahawks of last season.
There weren’t many who gave the Seahawks any real chance of winning versus the then defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints with Drew Brees and the rest of the high-powered offense. Seattle was able to walk the tight rope and hang with the Saints to win at the very end. The Seahawks would travel to Chicago the next week and fall to the NFC North division champion Bears, but that is not really the point to this story.
Well, we’re AFC West champs. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Once you get into the dance, they can’t kick you out.
– Denver Broncos Head Coach John Fox
The point is that even though the rules behind who hosts playoff games in the NFL are, in my opinion completely twisted, there is something to be said for winning your division no matter what it takes. Wild cards are good, but the 12-4 Steelers will travel far from home now because they couldn’t get things done against their AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens. So I guess I have to say that if you want to host a game, do work in your own division.
Now it’s time to see what Time Tebow and the Broncos can do. They have a defense that is playing lights out right now, but an offense that could only muster 3 points versus the Chiefs. They face a Steelers team without Rashard Mendenhall, and possibly Ryan Clark, who became very ill and required surgery after playing in the thin air of Denver a few years ago. Does this mean TT can lead them to victory over the defending AFC champs? God only knows.