A 38-10 record over the past three seasons is indicative of the level of success Peyton Manning has brought to the Denver Broncos. That record has resulted in three consecutive division titles and two number one seed bids in the AFC playoffs. 

During Manning’s tenure, Denver has lost just two regular season home games – carrying one of the most successful home win-loss records during that time. In 2014, the team was undefeated at home until a playoff loss to Indianapolis.

While Denver has struggled somewhat at home in the playoffs during that time (losing two divisional round games), Manning and head coach Gary Kubiak know the importance of home-field advantage through the NFL playoffs. Denver has struggled when traveling to perennial contenders like New England, Indianapolis and last year against Cincinnati, so securing a top seed in the AFC has to be high on the priority list. Where exactly will they land?

The Broncos roster is loaded with talent. Last season 11 Broncos were selected for the Pro Bowl. If Manning’s injured thigh is fully healed, then we will see a much stronger Manning than the one who gritted his way through the end of last season. If Gary Kubiak implements his zone blocking scheme successfully, C.J. Anderson could find himself having a magical season.

Assuming the offensive line holds up, and Wade Phillips is able to unleash the beast that lurks inside the Broncos defense, the team could lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs as early as week 15.

Last season the Broncos finished with the number two seed in the AFC, behind the New England Patriots. Tom Brady is suspended for four games following “deflategate,” but Bill Belichick is an exceptional gameplanner that will give his team a chance in every game, Brady or not. The defending Super Bowl champions could overcome Brady’s suspension and finish with the number one seed, especially if they beat the Broncos in the week 12 matchup.

Additionally, the Steelers and Ravens have championship experience, and either team could put together a surprising run to the top of the AFC. The Indianapolis Colts have the second easiest strength of schedule in 2015, and as Andrew Luck looks to build on an impressive sophomore season the Colts could find themselves in first place come January.

Imagine a scenario where Manning is healthy, but looks noticeably older, Anderson isn’t the bruising back he was in 2014, and the offensive line struggles, but the defense plays up to their potential and emerge as a top 3 unit in the NFL.

With a crushing schedule that includes seven playoff teams from last year, there’s no guarantee that Denver rolls through the regular season en route to a playoff berth. With such a gauntlet before them, and with the occurrence of an injury to any number of players, Denver could find themselves fighting for a Wild Card spot.

Any number of scenarios could come in to play as the seeds shake out this season.

So, where will the Broncos finish in the AFC?