NFL Playoff Predictions: Why the Denver Broncos Will Win the AFC West

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IIJune 23, 2016

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos rolls out against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Tebow went on to score the game winning touchdown as the Broncos defeated the Jets 17-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Mark my words, the Denver Broncos will be in the 2012 NFL playoffs and they win the AFC West.  

Five weeks ago, the thought of the Broncos even being in the playoffs would have been absurd. The Broncos were at the bottom of the AFC West with a 1-4 record. QB Kyle Orton was proving all of his doubters right with his mediocre production and inability to win close games. The Broncos season appeared to be lost.  

Enter Tim Tebow.

Tebow came in and gave the Broncos what they weren't getting from Kyle Orton: an authentic leader.  Sure, Orton had a cannon for an arm and was a much more accurate passer than Tebow, but what he lacked is what defines Tebow as a human being—an authentic desire to make people around him better.  

In five games as a starter, Tim Tebow has done just that. He has salvaged the Broncos' season and turned them into a contender with nothing more than his will to win, rooted in his tremendous ability to lead.

The Broncos will continue to win, and will continue to be a legitimate playoff team as long as Tim Tebow is at quarterback and here is why.  

While the media has been placing all of the focus on Tim Tebow, the reality is that the Broncos are winning games with more than Tebow. The Broncos are winning by playing tenacious defense.

Aside from their blowout loss to the Detroit Lions, the Broncos have played solid defense, holding their opponents to an average of 214 yards of total offense and only 15.5 points.  

The Broncos' defensive play has taken pressure off of Tebow, and has given him time to find his groove in games. The Broncos will continue to win as long as their defense continues to contain opposing offenses and LB Von Miler and LB Elvis Dumervil continue to get to opposing quarterbacks.

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27:  Von Miller #58 and Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos hit Tavaris Jackson #7 of the Seattle Seahawks as he throws a pass during the preseason game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 27, 2011 in Denver, Colorado
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Another reason why the Broncos will win the AFC west is because they have absolutely nothing to lose.

No one expects them to make it to the playoffs. No one expects them to win the AFC West. Most of all, no one expects Tebow to continue to find ways to win, and that is when Tebow seems to constantly rise to the occasion.  

The Broncos are the kind of team that thrives off of people's disbelief and disapproval of them. Every time the Broncos are told that they can't win, they do. When they are faced with an impossible 90-yard 2-minute drill, they make it possible.

As long as there are doubters, the Broncos and their valiant leader Tim Tebow will continue to prove them wrong.

The interesting thing about the AFC West is that no one, aside from Tim Tebow, seems to want to win the division.

The San Diego Chargers are fading fast after five straight losses by a combined total of 34 points. The Oakland Raiders are getting hot, but the remainder of their schedule isn't easy. They still have to play the toughest stretch of their schedule with games against the Packers, Lions, Bears and the streaking Dolphins. The final member of the AFC West, the Kansas City Chiefs, would be smart to just throw in the towel after losing Matt Cassel for the season.

The Denver Broncos are poised to make a late season run for the AFC West title, with the final six games of their season against opponents with a combined record of 29-31. Aside from their matchup with the New England Patriots, the Broncos' toughest game is against the Chicago Bears, which now looks a lot more winnable without QB Jay Cutler under center.

The Broncos can easily go 5-1 in their final six games, leaving them with a 10-6 record. The AFC West is the only division in the NFL which a 10-6 record could win the division.

Good news for the Broncos, they play in the AFC West and they will end the season not only with a 10-6 record, but also with the words AFC West Champions behind their name.


Final Six Game Predictions:

Denver Broncos 24 @ San Diego Chargers 21:  Down 21-17 in the fourth quarter with less than four minutes left, Tim Tebow will lead another comeback drive, culminating with a TD run against the 23rd-best rushing defense, by Tebow himself with less than a minute on the clock.  

Tebow Prediction: Passing 15 CMP 28 ATT 175 YDS 1 TD 0 INT  Rushing 12 ATT 60 YDS 1 TD 

Denver Broncos 20 @ Minnesota Vikings 10:  Tebow's passing abilities will be put on showcase here, only because he is playing the 28th-best passing defense in the league. The Vikings will contain Tebow on the ground, but he will ultimately get the best of them through the air. 

Tebow Prediction: Passing 22 CMP 30 ATT 235 YDS 2 TD 1 INT  Rushing 10 ATT 35 YDS 0 TD 

Denver Broncos 21 vs. Chicago Bears 13:  The Bears just won't have enough offensive firepower to overcome a stingy Broncos defense. Tebow won't be overwhelming here, but like always he will get the job done.

Tebow Prediction: Passing 12 CMP 29 ATT 195 YDS 1 TD 2 INT  Rushing 11 ATT 55 YDS 1 TD

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos prays during the final minute of the game against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Denver Broncos 21 vs. New England Patriots 31:  Tebow will put his passing ability on display again thanks to the league's worst passing defense. Unfortunately for the Broncos, Tom Brady's passing ability will also be put on display, which will be the major difference-maker.  

Tebow Prediction: Passing 19 CMP 33 ATT 220 YDS 1 TD 1 INT  Rushing 8 ATT 65 YDS 1 TD   

Denver Broncos 20 @ Buffalo Bills 13: The Broncos will win this game on the shoulders of Tim Tebow's rushing attack. Tebow will blast the Bills' weak run defense for his first career 100-plus yard rushing game.

Tebow Prediction: Passing 16 CMP 27 ATT 155 YDS 1 TD 1 INT  Rushing 17 ATT 120 YDS 2 TD

Denver Broncos 24 vs. Kansas City Chiefs 10: The Broncos win the AFC West with a win over the demoralized and outmatched Kansas City Chiefs. Tebow again will do just enough through the air to open up the ground game for himself.

Tebow Prediction: Passing 14 CMP 26 ATT 180 YDS 2 TD 0 INT  Rushing 13 ATT 85 YDS 1 TD      


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