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Published on 11/27/2012 at Tue Nov 27 12:00.
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As the bracket from NFL.com indicates above, the Denver Broncos (8-3) would face the Indianapolis Colts (7-4) in the Wild Card Round of the 2013 Playoffs if the season ended today.

Currently the No. 4 seed in the AFC, Denver trails Houston (10-1), Baltimore (9-2) and New England (8-3).   The Texans and Patriots will face off in Week 14, the Colts will face Houston twice before season’s end, and the Patriots face San Francisco (8-2-1) in Week 15.

Those four match-ups, in addition to Denver’s Week 15 game in Baltimore, will likely determine the final seeding in the AFC Playoff picture.  Houston seemingly has the No. 1 seed locked up, while the No. 2 seed is still up for grabs.

If the final playoff bracket ends up as projected above (which is unlikely, but possible), it would be Peyton Mannings vs. Andrew Luck in “The Sheriff” vs. “The Rookie”.

The backgrounds of Manning—who took the Colts to a pair of Super Bowls—and Luck—who ultimately replaced Manning in Indianapolis—have been well documented and such a showdown would be a network’s dream come true for ratings.  Manning always draws huge ratings.  Playing against his former team and successor in the playoffs would send ratings off the charts.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, the Broncos, of course, must first make it to the playoffs.  They can lock up the AFC West with a win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Earning a playoff berth is Denver’s ultimate goal, but Coach John Fox insists it will be business as usual this week.

“Well, No. 1, we don’t want to worry about all that,” said Fox on Monday, speaking of the current playoff scenario.  ”We want to worry about the Tampa Bay Bucs in all three phases.  That’ll be the mantra when we gather the team back up on Wednesday.”

The road to the Super Bowl would be easier traveled through Sports Authority Field, but a Wild Card showdown between Manning and Luck would be fun to watch.  How do you think the final playoff bracket will shape up?  Dish out your predictions in the comments below!

  • Broncosnipe

    we will get a first round bye. With any luck, we will face the Colts after they win their first game and we will deliver a beatdown similar (or hopefully worse) to what we used to receive from Manning and the Colts.

  • Broncosnipe

    P.S. And as the cameras fade to black we see Andrew Luck crying like a baby.

  • AZDynamics

    I think we can take it for granted that the Broncos will be in the playoffs now. I know all about 2009, but they didn’t have Peyton or a top 10 defense back then. What they’re playing for now is a first-round bye. I’d be all over a Manning vs. his old team and Luck in the postseason, but not in the Wild Card round. I think Manning & Co. would rather be watching the Colts play someone else that week.

  • Jim_Jebow

    Maybe the Colts will sign Roc Alexander

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonmark93 Jon Broncos Heath

    Fair enough. That would certainly be ideal.

  • AZDynamics

    lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/mack.wilson.370 Mack Wilson

    The Broncos won’t be able to beat the Colts bad enough. I wish they could tilt the freaking score board and put that drunk pill popper back into multiple bottles. Sometimes you get what you pay for and Irsay will get his when the Colts face the quarterback they threw away like last nights garbage.

  • LilyOfTheValley

    Manning DID say about 14 years ago that if the Colts didn’t pick him, he’ll make sure to kick their butts for the next 15 years or so… #BringItOn

  • herc_rock

    Ha!