3 reasons the Denver Broncos are a dark horse to win the AFC

The Denver Broncos are playing flawless football right now and have taken down five straight playoff hopefuls in the Packers, Chiefs, Bills, Vikings, and Browns.

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos
Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages
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The Denver Broncos have been a complete revelation after the team's abysmal 1-5 start winning five straight games to put them at 6-5 and right in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt. The team has picked up crucial wins against the Bills and Browns who are both also fighting for wild card spots.

However, according to Pro Football Focus the team's most crucial game is this Sunday against the Houston Texans who are also in the playoff hunt. The upcoming game has severe implications for the team's chances of making the postseason and may be the biggest game for the franchise in nearly five seasons.

With the playoffs seemingly on the line this weekend, the Broncos will rely on these three factors to guide the team to its first playoff berth since the team won Super Bowl 50 in 2015.

Broncos defense is playing lights out

After playing awful for the first month of the season including giving up a ridiculous 70 points to the Miami Dolphins, the team has drastically turned it around. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has the unit firing on all cylinders with an NFL-leading 22 turnovers including 12 fumbles in the 2023 campaign.

Denver has an unthinkable 16 turnovers during its five-game winning streak and has forced some of the NFL’s best to struggle mightly against its defense. Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions with zero touchdowns while Josh Allen threw two as well with his team coughing up a pair of fumbles. It is time to put some respect on a defense that has caused the best of the best to turn the ball over, especially in crunch time.

NFL analysts have been saying for weeks that the turnovers are not sustainable, yet week after week the defense continues to produce them. This may not be the 2015 Super Bowl Champion Broncos defense but it is certainly playing elite enough to carry the team to a deep playoff run.