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Why the Denver Broncos Should Be Considered the Second-Best Team in the AFC

November 27th, 2012 at 6:47 PM
By DJ Siddiqi


'Denver Broncos vs Seattle Seahawks' photo (c) 2012, Daniel Spiess - license:

Entering Week 13 of the NFL season, the Broncos currently stand as the fourth seed in the AFC Playoff race despite a six-game winning streak that has given them an 8-3 record through 11 games. The Texans stand at 10-1 as the AFC's best team, with the Ravens at second at 9-2 and the Patriots as the third seed at 8-3. The Broncos lose the tiebreaker to New England, because they lost to the Patriots in Week 5. In fact, it was their final loss before embarking on a six-game winning streak that continues entering Week 13.

With that said, let's get this out of the way – the Texans are the best team in the AFC. Despite a blowout loss to Green Bay earlier this year, the Texans have remained the class of the AFC, with the one loss to Green Bay being their only blemish. Let's not forget also about how the Texans defeated the Broncos in Week 3 earlier this year. Houston led by as many as 20 points in that game.

Which leaves us with three contenders for the honor of the second-best team in the AFC – the Ravens, the Patriots and the Broncos.

Baltimore stands at a strong 9-2. However, since they lost Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb to injuries, they have not looked like the same team. The Ravens lost to Houston in an absolute embarrassment of a game. The Ravens also struggled to beat a San Diego team who has been in a freefall ever since losing to Denver in Week 6. It took a miraculous fourth-and-29 conversion from Ray Rice to give Baltimore the chance to defeat the Chargers in overtime.

New England has been strong over the last several weeks. Despite losing to Baltimore earlier this season on a last second kick, the Patriots look arguably stronger than the Ravens do entering Week 13. The Patriots blew out the Jets on Thanksgiving Day and enter their inter-divisional matchup at Miami with a 4-0 divisional record and the AFC East all but wrapped up. However, despite ranking at the top of the league in turnovers forced, there are still questions with the defense.

The Broncos entering Week 13, have the second-easiest remaining schedule in the league. They are on a six-game winning streak and they rank in the top 10 in both scoring offense and defense. Peyton Manning is on track for a fifth MVP award, while Von Miller is one of the league leaders in sacks and has a chance to win Defensive Player of the Year.

With the way the Broncos have dominated opponents over recent weeks, do not be shocked to see the Broncos end up as the AFC's second seed by the time January rolls around.

Denver's Week 15 visit to Baltimore will likely dictate who ends up being the second seed in the AFC.

Tags: Denver, Denver Broncos, Football, NFL, Patriots, Peyton Manning, Ravens, Texans, Von Miller

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