Week 15 was a time for AFC teams to chase after playoff positioning, yet the top three seeded teams didn’t take the opportunity. The Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and Cincinnati Bengals all fell, making the Broncos the number one seed again.
The Broncos already secured a playoff spot, but home field advantage was still up for grabs. The Broncos lost Thursday night to the San Diego Chargers 27-20. Following the Broncos loss, the Patriots had the chance to let the Superbowl run through New England. They also came up short losing to the Miami Dolphins 24-20.
What’s next for the Broncos?
Luckily, Denver has the chance to still have home field advantage in the playoffs.
The Patriots needed to win the last three games of their season in order to gain home field advantage. The Kansas City Chiefs, who have the same 11-3 record, also aren’t eligible because of their two losses to the Broncos. The Chiefs are still in the playoffs by winning the wildcard.
The Broncos will need to win their next two games for the playoffs to take place at Sports Authority Field. They will face the Texans (2-14) in Week 16 and the Raiders (4-10) in Week 17. With these wins the Broncos will not only win the Division title but also the top seed in the AFC.
Why is home field needed?
Many reasons factor in to why home field advantage for the Broncos is needed. First, the players are in their element. They sleep in their own beds, and are in their own locker room. The players are comfortable. Next, the fans impact on the game. The excitement from the fans and the city play a role, especially with the “United in Orange” campaign having a huge success. Finally, Sports Authority field gives the Broncos one of the biggest advantages in the league; the altitude. With the stadium sitting a mile above sea level, the Broncos are used to the oxygen levels, whereas other teams may not be.