not counting my eggs before they are hatched, just trying to figure out the best possible scenario for the Broncos this year.
in the first round, Cincy would play WC#6. if WC#6 wins, they'd face Indy. if Cincy wins, they'd face Denver.
i'm not a big believer in Cincy, but just to be on the safe side, i think we want the WC#2 team to advance and be capable of beating Indy. so, i think we need to be rooting for SD to get the WC#2 slot.
WC#1 would therefore likely go to either KC, Jax, or Pitt. the question is, which of those teams would Denver match up against best? we've seen KC twice, Jax once, and NE once already this year. do we want a rematch? or do we want a gimpy Roethlisberger-led Steeler team at Invesco?
what's more, which of those teams can win at NE in the playoffs?
for whatever it's worth, i think the Broncos can beat NE, Jax, KC, or Pitt in the playoffs at Invesco, so i think this is really a push. just to piss off the mullets, i'd like to see KC eliminated. i'm sure they will be. i'm not convinced that Pitt can make the playoffs either (they're 1 game behind KC right now in the standings anyway), so i think Jax is the most probable WC#1 team.
round 1: SD @ Cincy
round 1: Jax @ NE
we want SD to win that game
round 2: SD @ Indy
round 2: Jax/NE @ Denver
we want SD and Denver to win those games
round 3: SD @ Denver
i think we would beat SD in that matchup and head to the superbowl.
so, as much as it sucks, i think we should all be rooting for SD to capture the 2nd WC slot. of course, Denver needs to hold onto the #2 seed or this is all irrelevant, but i think SD gives us our best chance of not having to go to Indy this year.
even if Cincy is capable of winning @ Indy, so long as they look good for the #3 slot, they will avoid facing Indy until the championship game, so they are of no help to us this year.
for the record, i'm not convinced that Indy is unbeatable at the dome, and if the Broncos HAD to go there for the championship game, i think Denver could win that game. it's just that all things being equal, i'd rather see the road to the superbowl go through Invesco, and that means somebody else needs to knock Indy out during the divisional round.
of course, the Broncos need to take care of business in the final 4 games and lock up the #2 slot or the point is moot... i'm just thinking ahead to see what permutation is most favorable.