A Look At Two Accomplishments That Prove The Denver Broncos Belong In The Playoffs

MHH Publisher Chad Jensen takes a look back at two of the Broncos' biggest achievements in 2015.

The Denver Broncos season is far from over. They're currently on a hard-earned bye, waiting to find out which team they'll host on January 17th in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs. 

It could be Kansas City. Or it could be Pittsburgh or even Houston, depending on how this weekend's games shake out. 

In trying to get a bead on what we can expect from Gary Kubiak's squad in the playoffs, perhaps we can glean much by looking back on their 12-4 regular season. 

The Broncos faced a mountain of adversity, including the loss of Pro Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady in OTAs, Ty Sambrailo, their second round pick, and Peyton Manning for a huge chunk of the season. 

And yet, they still won the division and earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC. 

The Broncos Earned Five Wins Against Playoff-Qualifying Teams

Think about that for a minute. No team fared better against playoff-caliber teams than the Broncos did in 2015. They defeated the following postseason teams. 

Week 2 at Kansas City

Week 4 vs. Minnesota

Week 8 vs. Green Bay

Week 12 vs. New England

Week 16 vs. Cincinnati

This five-win total represents the most among the 12 teams currently in the NFL playoff tournament. Kicking and screaming, indeed. 

Three Comeback Wins Of 14-Points vs. Playoff Competition

The Broncos made history in 2015, becoming the first team ever to record three comeback wins of 14-plus points against playoff teams in a single season. Week 2 vs. KC. Week 12 vs. NE and Week 16 vs. CIN. 

The will to win and the wherewithal and grit required to pull this off is astounding, especially when you consider the level of competition. Kubiak deserves a ton of credit for this feat, as does the Broncos defense and Brock Osweiler, who quarterbacked two of these comebacks. 

Even ruminating on the last win of the regular season, coming back to defeat San Diego, after turning the ball over five times, reveals the character of Kubiak's team. 

John Elway wanted kicking and screaming. And I think it's safe to say he got it. The Broncos finished with the No. 1 total defense in the NFL. Wade Phillips was the perfect hire and his impact cannot be over-stated. 

The Bronco running game improved down the stretch and if Kubiak sticks with Tyler Polumbus at right tackle, instead of the beleagured Michael Schofield, I think everyone will feel better about the offensive line in the postseason. 

And to cap it all off, the Broncos have a truly 'first world' football problem. Who will start in the playoffs? A five-time MVP as your starting quarterback, or a young gunslinger like Brock Osweiler, who technically finished the season 5-2 as a starter?

Regardless of which QB starts on January 17th, the Broncos aren't in a hurry to announce their decision, but I'd be shocked if it isn't Peyton Manning.

Something tells me Broncos Country has a lot to look forward to in January.

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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