DENVER — As Santa Claus embarks on his southward venture from the North Pole this Christmas Eve, the Broncos will hope to bring good holiday tidings to Denver as they take on the New England Patriots in primetime.
You can watch the game – in which the Broncos will be fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive – on Denver7 starting at 6 p.m. Tune in for an hour-long edition of Denver7 News at 5 before kickoff and stick around for postgame news after the final whistle.
If the Broncos’ pursuit of the playoffs isn’t your speed and you’re looking for regularly-scheduled ABC programming you’ll find those primetime shows – America’s Funniest Home Videos, Home Alone and Celebrity Family Feud – on Local3 starting at 6 p.m.
Following the Broncos’ loss to the Lions in Detroit last Saturday, the tilt with the Patriots Sunday night at Empower Field marks the beginning of a must-win slate of three games to close out the season.
Denver (7-7) fell to No. 11 in the AFC standings last week as several teams ahead of them in the standings – the Bengals, Colts, Bills, Texans and Browns – all logged Week 15 wins. The Broncos’ playoff chances dipped to about 23%, according to the New York Times’ playoff simulator.
Still, there remains a decent chance the Broncos make the postseason if they win out and reach 10 wins – about 79%, according to the simulator.
The 3-11 Patriots have been eliminated from playoff contention and are playing with a backup quarterback. They may, however, add running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who has missed the last two games due to injury, to a backfield facing a Broncos defense that has surrendered more yards on the ground than any other team in the league.
That Broncos defense does get Kareem Jackson back from his four-game suspension. On the offensive side, Denver faces off with a Pats defense that, despite its record, has been relatively stingy this season. They rank 11th in the NFL in scoring defense allowing just 19.1 points per game.