Broncos reduced to spoiler’s role after late struggles (Dec 26, 2016)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) ��� The Denver Broncos will figure heavily into the AFC playoff picture – in a spoiler’s capacity, anyway.

It’s an unfamiliar role for the reigning Super Bowl champions.

After five straight playoff appearances, the Broncos were eliminated over the weekend and have nothing more than pride on the line Sunday against Oakland, which can wrap up the AFC West title with a win or could fall all the way to the fifth seed with a loss.

The Broncos (8-7) are trying to get a head start on a bounce-back season in 2017.

Just who may be under center for the finale, well, coach Gary Kubiak wouldn’t tip his hand Monday. He may stick with Trevor Siemian , who has been inefficient at times in leading an anemic offense that’s been held to 10 points or fewer the last three games (the first time that’s happened for Denver since 1966). Kubiak might insert rookie Paxton Lynch, the first-round pick who has struggled when he’s taken over.

“We’ll see. We’ll see what happens,” Kubiak said. “I don’t want to sit here, try to talk about that one way or another.”

A promising 4-0 start sure went sideways. For Kubiak, it happened with a crushing overtime loss to the Chiefs on Nov. 27. The Broncos have dropped four of

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