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Bronco Rob
12-20-2009, 04:14 AM
Paige: Playoffs? Thank Stokley


By Woody Paige
The Denver Post
Posted: 12/20/2009 01:00:00 AM MST


For the want of a horseshoe nail, the kingdom was lost. Because of a deflection of desperation, the season could be won.

If the Broncos win out, they will be in.

If the Broncos don't win out, they may be out.

This is no nursery rhyme. This is the NFL.

Little did we realize that Brandon Stokley's phenomenal catch-and-run on the opening Sunday of the season could be the difference in the Broncos reaching the playoffs. Little do we know that something almost as incredible, "strength of victory," could be the difference in keeping the Broncos out of the postseason.

Should the Broncos beat the Raiders today and the Chiefs in the finale, and fall at Philadelphia in between, and should the Ravens and the Dolphins win their last three games, which is quite possible, the Broncos might be eliminated as an AFC wild card by dissimilar tiebreakers.

The belief in our Dusty Old Cowtown is that the Broncos are virtual lock-cinches for the playoffs. Not so fast, Romeo.

What if the Broncos, the Ravens and the Dolphins all finish 10-6? Could happen.

The Ravens are at home today against the Bears (who sat on a plane at O'Hare on Friday night the quarterback probably brooding and couldn't fly to Baltimore because of the East Coast snowstorm). They end up at Pittsburgh and Oakland. The Ravens certainly could win all three games, especially since the Steelers have gone in the cistern after their Monday night win in Denver.

The Dolphins are in Nashville against the Titans today, and they conclude the season at home against Houston and those same Steelers. They can definitely win all three especially with Vince Young questionable.

The Ravens would win the three-team tiebreaker and No. 5 seed against the Broncos and Dolphins with a better record (3-2) against common opponents.

The Dolphins and the Broncos have not played. The second tiebreaker is conference record, and the third is results against common opponents. With victories over the Raiders and the Chiefs, the Broncos would have an 8-4 conference record. With three more victories, the Dolphins would have an 8-4 AFC record.

Against common opponents, the Broncos and the Miami Dolphins would be 2-3.

The fourth tiebreaker is strength of victory. I didn't know exactly what that meant until studying the tiebreaker system. "Strength of schedule is calculated by the combined winning percentage of the opponents a team has beaten."

Here's the situation, and it's unbelievable. Teams that the Broncos and the Dolphins have beaten (which are not all the same) have a total of 58 victories through 13 games. So the opponents' winning percentage is identical. I would have thought the Broncos had beaten the better opponents the Chargers, the Bengals, the Cowboys, the Giants, the Patriots. But they have beaten slugs the Raiders, the Chiefs and the Browns. The Dolphins have victories over middle-of-the-league teams the Jets (twice) and the Jags and New England.

So, without making it too complicated (for me, mostly), the three teams the Dolphins would beat down the stretch will have several more season victories (probably 21) than the two teams the Broncos will beat (seven). But other teams the two have beaten will figure in the equation with their final regular-season records.

Nevertheless, the Broncos could lose out on the playoffs on the "strength of victory" tiebreaker. If the teams remain tied at that point, next is "strength of schedule," which takes into account all the victories by the teams the Broncos and the Dolphins won and lost against.

The Broncos don't want to get to the 11th tiebreaker a coin toss.

The Broncos might win the toss, and Josh McDaniels would defer. (Joke.)

This much we do know. If the Broncos win their last three games, no other wild-card possibility can match an 11-5 record.

With a 1-1 mark this December, the Broncos are an unimpressive 26-28 overall in the months of December and January since last winning the Super Bowl.

When the Broncos rack the Raiders, McDaniels can thank Stokley for catching the tipped pass and running to the end zone in Cincinnati, and Champ Bailey for tipping away the final pass in the end zone by the Cowboys.

McDaniels will continue his streak of always being associated with a winning team on the junior high, high school, college and professional levels. Oh, we of little faith.

The Broncos could play the Patriots, the Colts, the Bengals and/or the Chargers again. Or the season could be played out.

Over the holidays the Broncos need to nail it if the kingdom is to be won





http://www.denverpost.com/premium/broncos/ci_14035036#ixzz0aELVk2Oi

Ramathorn
12-20-2009, 04:44 AM
According to that article, then dallas beating new orleans helps us out alot also.

BroncoBuff
12-20-2009, 07:04 AM
Agree with Woody ... that deflection was worth at least a couple more wins than just the Bengals game.

RhymesayersDU
12-20-2009, 07:39 AM
I didn't know Miami would also hold the tiebreaker. I knew about the Ravens, mainly because of head-to-head.

Dolphins should fall somewhere though.

ward63
12-20-2009, 09:06 AM
I didn't know Miami would also hold the tiebreaker. I knew about the Ravens, mainly because of head-to-head.

Dolphins should fall somewhere though.

Today...

Bob's your Information Minister
12-20-2009, 09:11 AM
It would be funny if you guys missed the playoffs, AGAIN.

bowtown
12-20-2009, 09:15 AM
It would be funny if you guys missed the playoffs, AGAIN.

Almost as funny as you guys picking in the top 5, AGAIN.

ludo21
12-20-2009, 09:17 AM
if we go 10-6 and miss the playoffs that will suck

azbroncfan
12-20-2009, 09:19 AM
It would be funny if you guys missed the playoffs, AGAIN.

I love it that the only hope you have in Football is to root against the Broncos every year.

Hogan11
12-20-2009, 10:05 AM
Lessee...they have the Raiders @ home today with Frye starting @ QB.

They have a game next week against the Eagles. A game that everyone chalks up as a loss yet the Eagles have only beaten one team with a winning record (the very unimpressive Giants), are beat up (no Westbrook amongst others) and have a very suspect defense. Amazing what Vick hype and D. Jackson antics do to people's game perspective, isn't it?

and then they get the Chiefs...a team in total disarray and for people who believe in such trends as something meaningful, a team that has never won a game in the new stadium.

I like the chances of Denver winning out, how can you not?

Bob's your Information Minister
12-20-2009, 02:28 PM
Almost as funny as you guys picking in the top 5, AGAIN.

"Almost" being the key word.

The Chiefs have visited the playoffs more recently than the Broncos.

Bronco Rob
12-21-2009, 02:18 AM
"Almost" being the key word.

The Chiefs have visited the playoffs more recently than the Broncos.


january 16th 1994 the last time KC WON a playoff game.



just sayin'