As the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs creeps closer, the Denver Broncos continue to prepare for their Divisional Round matchup. They will face either the Kansas City Chiefs, the Pittsburgh Steelers, or the Houston Texans.

Mike Luper and Sean Walsh discussed the possible matchups during The Sports Guy Mike Show on Mile High Sports Radio AM 1340, noting that Denver has seen each of these teams already this season.

The Broncos have played both the Chiefs and the Steelers this year, taking the week two match up against the Chiefs 31-24 in week two at Arrowhead, before falling to them at home 29-13 eight weeks later. The Broncos also fell to the Chiefs 34-27 at Heinz Field in December. The Broncos and Texans did not meet in the regular season this year, but did square off in the preseason – a 14-10 Broncos win.

Adding to the intrigue of possible matchups is the huge orange elephant sitting in head coach Gary Kubiak’s office: Who is the playoff starter at quarterback? Luper and Walsh factored both possibilities into the equation while discussing the pros and cons of each possible opponent.

“If you’re facing Pittsburgh,” said Luper, “you like Peyton Manning in there because they don’t have as good of a pass rush.”  Luper, however, added later in the segment that he felt the quarterback situation will be similar to the Chargers game, with Brock starting but being on a short leash. Walsh challenged the idea of Osweiler as the starter.

“I think this is Peyton’s team moving forward.  I think he’s your starting quarterback.” Walsh added later that Manning’s days in Denver may be numbered, so Kubiak might as well use him.

Regardless of who’s under center, The Broncos will be facing a difficult task on both sides of the ball come Jan. 17.

Both the Texans and the Steelers boast game-breaking receivers, Deandre Hopkins and Antonio Brown respectively, with Pro Bowler Ben Roethlisberger without a doubt the best passer among the three teams. Kansas City’s total offensive numbers are far from frightening, but their potent run game ranks seventh in the league despite being without Jamaal Charles since Week 6.

Houston and Kansas city also boast stellar defenses, ranked fourth and seventh respectively. But don’t count Pittsburgh out here either. The Broncos run game has been instrumental in their victories this year, and the Steelers ranked fifth at stopping the run this year.

Walsh and Luper did agree, regardless of opponent, the Divisional playoff game will be no cakewalk.

Luper concluded, “either way, that divisional game is going to be a a dogfight.”

Listen to the full discussion in the podcast below…

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