Chargers were helped in by zebras

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The playoffs will begin on Saturday with the Chiefs visiting the Colts.

KC rested several of its starters on Sunday, but still nearly defeated San Diego, which got plenty of help to clinch the AFC's final playoff berth.

They were also aided by the referees, as there should have been a procedure penalty against the Chargers on Ryan Succop's failed attempt at a late game-winning FG. The NFL has since admitted as much.

Granted, there's no guarantee that Succop would have made the subsequent 36-yarder, but it's reasonable to assume that he would have.

As a result, San Diego will play at Cincinnati on Sunday, and would come to Denver if they pull off the upset.

Had the Chiefs been victorious, then Pittsburgh would have the sixth seed, and loom as a potential opponent for Denver.

But the Steelers won six of their last eight games, with the two losses each coming by single digit margins - so it's not clear that they would have been a preferable matchup to the Chargers.

Broncos

Tickets for Denver's first playoff game will go on sale tomorrow.

Duke Ihenacho suffered a concussion on Sunday, while Wes Welker is reportedly close to being cleared from his.

Naturally, Brock Osweiler appreciated the chance to get some live snaps under his belt, but has also enjoyed watching Peyton Manning make history.

Dave Krieger lauds the greatness of Peyton Manning and laughs at memories of the Tebow or Peyton debate.

Mark Kiszla says it's still Super Bowl or bust for Denver.

Andrew Mason discusses Denver's win and revisits his three pregame keys.

Paul Klee says the Broncos are still fueled by last year's unceremonious ending.

News

Over in the NFC, Seattle claimed HFA, Carolina earned a bye, and Green Bay took the NFCN with a wild win as Aaron Rodgers returned.

Kyle Orton did his best Tony Romo impression with a killer late interception, while Andy Dalton added four picks to bring his season total to 20.

Houston locked down the #1 overall pick with their 14th consecutive loss.

Analysis

Bill BarnwellPeter King, Matt BowenWill Brinson, Don Banks, Jason Cole, John ClaytonJay BusbeeFrank Schwab, the Football Outsiders, and Brian Burke recap the day's action.

Mike TanierChris Burke, and Jeffri Chadiha look ahead to the playoffs.

Dan Wetzel says Chip Kelly has proven the naysaying doubters wrong, and was there ever any doubt that he would?

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

The Lard

2014 Offseason

All Offseason Coverage