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Like the Broncos' Week 12 game against the Patriots, Denver's Week 15 showdown against the Houston Texans is bound to have AFC playoff implications.
Playoff seeding will likely again be on the line—as could playoff berths.
This will be the Broncos second to final game of the season and if they team is, say, 11-3 at the time, a win may mean the difference between hosting or traveling early in the playoffs.
The Broncos played both the Texans and Patriots early in 2012, losing both games. A strong argument could be made that Peyton Manning was still getting back into his groove when those losses occurred.
With that being the case, the Broncos likely would have performed better if they had played the two AFC powerhouses later in the season.
Denver will get another chance at both teams again in 2013 and both games will be played later in the season, right around the time the Broncos started to get hot in 2012. This game will be huge.