NFL Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos: Top 5 Opponents to Watch in the Second Half of the Season

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Denver Broncos 5 Opponents to Watch

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Football season is halfway over, and the Denver Broncos seem to be in good shape.

Trailing only the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in the division, the Broncos are 7-1 through the first eight games. That puts Denver in a good spot as normally winning only three more games will give them the 10 wins they need to reach the playoffs. But as we have seen in recent history, just because you win 10 games does not guarantee playoffs. So, Denver will probably have to win at least four of their final eight games to get into the postseason. That should not be hard for this talented team. However, with recent news that John Fox will miss a significant amount of time due to heart surgery, it remains to be seen how this team responds without their head coach. This happened last season with the Indianapolis Colts so will another similar event happen? Whether it is Jack Del Rio or Adam Gase, whomever is chosen as the intern coach should be okay with a talented team.

The second half of the season for the Broncos will be challenging as six of the final eight teams they play should be in the discussion for the playoffs including five games against division rivals. I will be looking at five opponents that fans should be paying attention to the second half of the season. The teams chosen could have an impact on where the Broncos finish as far as record and potential playoff positioning. With everything that is going well for the team, it will be interesting to see how they take on these teams without their head coach. So, here are the five teams to watch.

Tylor Walden is a Denver Broncos writer for Follow him on Twitter @TylorDWalden, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Houston Texans

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The Houston Texans have been a disappointing team this season. When these two teams were first slated to square off it seemed like it could be the game to decide the seeding for the AFC Playoffs and be a potential flex game to Sunday Night Football. However, that does not look like it will happen. If the Broncos are doing well at this point of the season, this could be a trap game. These two teams play in Week 16, which could impact the playoff race. It will be interesting to see how both teams play this game if they are both going in opposite directions.

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4. Tenessee Titans

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The Tennessee Titans have had a slow start to the season but have rebounded nicely thanks to the play of Jake Locker. This organization has what it takes to make a push during the second half of the season towards the postseason. I could even see them as a wild card team if they do their part and get some help. These teams play in Week 14 at Invesco Field and could decide seeding as well if both teams continue to succeed in the season. This could be the game in which John Fox returns from his surgery if he recovers quickly, but it may not be a fast recovery. This game could have some serious playoff implications, especially for the Titans.

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3. San Diego Chargers

Geoff Burke- USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers are doing really well this season, but they have a tough schedule for the second half having to play the Broncos and the Chiefs twice during that span. Adding on to the other teams that will be battling for playoff spots, the second half of the season will be a test for the Chargers. Can they keep pace with the rest of the AFC down the stretch? The Broncos play the Chargers twice, starting with a game in San Diego to start the second half of the season. Can the Broncos keep the Chargers at bay during this critical stretch towards the postseason?

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2. New England Patriots

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The good old Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady duel. Both of these quarterbacks will highlight this match up. However, we cannot deny that the New England Patriots are not playing well despite their good record. However, the Patriots always seem to play the Broncos well as of recently. This could be the season in which Manning finally gets the better of Brady, and he should this season because Manning has Brady's old weapon. These two teams play each other in Week 12 in what should be a huge game when it comes to where these two teams finish up in the seeding for the postseason.

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1. Kansas City Chiefs

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The Broncos play their long time division rival Chiefs twice in three weeks after battling the Chargers. With the Chiefs still undefeated heading into their bye week, playing this team twice in three weeks will not be an easy task for the Broncos. With the first game under the lights on Sunday Night Football, everyone will be paying attention to this game. Weeks 11 and 13 are when these two teams face off, and these games will not only determine the division winner but could impact potential home-field advantage for the playoffs. And as fans, the Broncos would rather play the Chiefs at home than in Arrowhead.