This weekend’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills is listed under Week 16 on the National Football League schedule, but for the Broncos it might as well be a playoff game.
Denver holds a two-game lead over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West. A win on Sunday would secure the Broncos their first postseason berth in three seasons. A Broncos loss paired with a Chargers win would set up a winner-take-all final showdown in San Diego in Week 17 for the divisional crown.
Wide receiver Brandon Stokley said his team is well aware of the implications of Sunday’s game against Buffalo.
“There is no doubt about it,” he said. “It has been preached and it has been talked about. Everybody knows what is at stake. We need to get it done this week.”
The team will try to further instill a playoff atmosphere by not having the Chargers game on in the locker room or on the big screen at INVESCO Field at Mile High, per Head Coach Mike Shanahan, prior to the game.
“I think our main goal is to play good in December,” Stokley said. “Regardless of what happens with San Diego, we need to be playing good football this time of the year.”
The Broncos control their playoff fate, and Stokley said it is up to him and his teammates to pull through when they need to.
“This is our season right here,” he said. “This is what we have worked so hard for since March. If you can’t get up for this game, then you are in the wrong line of work.”
-Jake Grilley, DenverBroncos.com