Despite entering the season as the defending champions of the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos have suddenly found themselves grasping for a playoff appearance. However, given the team's upcoming schedule, it seems it's time for the Broncos to say goodbye to their playoff hopes.
Last week, the Broncos still had a pretty decent chance of playing in the postseason, but this changed following their surprising loss to the Tennessee Titans. For the team, emerging victorious in the Week 14 game was supposed to serve as a buffer for Denver as they prepare for their final three games.
However, things didn't turn out well for the team as the Titans defense remained steadfast in keeping the Broncos at bay. As a result, Tennessee was able to end the game with a three-point advantage over Denver, according to SB Nation.
With a current record of 8-5, the Broncos are technically still in the running for the playoff as long as they win their final games of the regular season. However, based on their schedule, this feat is starting to look close to impossible to achieve.
On Sunday, the Broncos will be taking on the New England Patriots, a team that's poised to take the AFC East crown. After that, they'll be facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. In other words, the Broncos' final stretch in the season is all about taking on the top three teams in the division.
Of course, there's a chance that the Broncos can still manage to pull upset wins to remain a playoff contender. However, achieving this three times in a row doesn't seem likely.
The Broncos are well aware of their situation right now. They need to secure 11 wins this season to ensure a spot in the playoffs. Ten can also do it, but this would depend on various factors.
So, right now, the team is planning on taking the upcoming games with a win-or-die mentality.
"We've got to have a dog mentality, a bear mentality, you know," T.J. Ward said according to Denver Post. "Once you want it, you have to keep charging. You can't sit back and sulk and feel sorry for yourselves, man. We've got to pick it up."