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For the Broncos, it's Loss Vegas. They fell for the second time in as many trips to Sin City, and their season is effectively over.

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After shanking a crucial 55-yard field goal, Brandon McManus and Vic Fangio had a heated exchange on the sideline.

After the Broncos' crushing 17-13 loss, Fangio blamed the heated exchange on the officials.

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With only a five percent shot at making the playoffs, should George Paton and Vic Fangio approach the final three games any differently?

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If things hold as planned, the James Webb space telescope will be shot off French Guiana around 5:30 a.m. tomorrow, on Christmas morning. The project is literally locked and loaded into the nosecone of an Ariane rocket and awaiting the moment and weather that gives it its best shot off this rock, and about a million miles away. If it…...

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If the Broncos miss the playoffs, he'll join a club of 76 coaches since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 who missed the postseason in each of their first three years with a club. For almost all of those coaches, it didn't get much better.

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The Denver Broncos no longer control their own destiny.

But they've still got a shot at the playoffs. But they need help.

Here's what Denver needs and who to root for this weekend for the Broncos' playoff dreams to stay alive.

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Drew Lock

“I woke up with a big smile on my face this morning being able to come out here and be the guy this week for this team,” he said.

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Drew Lock will be the Broncos' starting quarterback against the Raiders.

However, regardless of how good Drew is, Teddy Bridgewater will takeover the starting job once he's healthy.

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Teddy Bridgewater was released from the hospital on Monday morning.

However, it's highly unlikely he'll play on Sunday against the Raiders.

That sets up Drew Lock to get his first start of the season.

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Denver had a massive opportunity in front of them on Sunday. They just fell short.

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The saddest thing in life is a missed opportunity.

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Which of the next three games is the most difficult for the Broncos?

Week 15 — vs 7-6 Bengals
Week 16 — @ 6-7 Raiders
Week 17 — @ 8-6 Chargers

@ZacStevensDNVR, @RyanKoenigsberg and @MaseDenver debate & give their picks for the weekend!

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The addition of the 17th game already is making a profound impact on the AFC wild-card race.

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Pat Shurmur

Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur doesn’t have much use for numbers — at least the ones beyond what appear on the scoreboard.

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Mathematically, Sunday's Broncos game against the Bengals isn't a must-win.

But for all practical purposes it is.

Here's what's on the line, who to cheer for this weekend along with the Broncos and where Denver stands in the playoff picture.

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“My primary focus is trying to help this team win football games, trying to get into the playoffs," Bridgewater said. "The rest will take care of itself, man."

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COVID-19 has swept across the NFL this week.

So far, the Broncos have been relatively unscathed.

That's made Vic Fangio "relieved, but nervous."

Denver's injuries, however, are a different story.

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The Broncos are among the league's best in points allowed per game and per possession over the last eight weeks. But their troubles against the run could be a downfall.

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Since returning from their Bye Week, Teddy Bridgewater is averaging 188 passing yards per game and has an 87.7 passer rating.

But it’s not time to worry about the passing game just yet.

The reason?

That’s not the Broncos’ key to success.

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For the first time since 2016, the Denver Broncos have a winning record in December and are playing meaningful football games in the final month of the season.

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