All will be forgotten and forgiven for the Horsemen with a victory today.

The Broncos' last playoff-significant conquest on the road late in the regular season against an imposing team happened in 2003. The Broncos upset the Colts in Indianapolis, 31-17, to advance to the postseason.

Denver and Philadelphia haven't gotten together for such an important game since way back on Oct. 12, 2009, when the Phillies beat the Rockies to end their National League playoff series.

(Spoiler alert: Michael Vick is listed as questionable for the game. He's been listed as irrelevant all season.)

Philadelphians would boo kite-flying Benjamin Franklin, flag-sewing Betsy Ross, and pass-throwing Donovan McNabb, but not Weapon-Xing Brian Dawkins, who will be cheered in his return - a triumphant one, the Broncos hope; a melancholic one, the Eagles wish.

The Broncos could be on the verge of one of the worst collapses since the invention of the wild card. Or they could be on the verge of having a terrific season for a team picked by most neighsayers to win only four or five games.

If it had been suggested before the season that the Broncos would possess an 8-6 record, with a legitimate chance at the playoffs, going to Philly for the next-to-last regular-season game, people in Denver would have rejoiced.

If it had been suggested a week after the Rockies lost to Philadelphia, and the Broncos upped their record to 6-0, that they would be 8-6 going to Philly, with a real chance to be out of the playoffs, people in Denver would have moped.

A loss in Philadelphia, and the Broncos will be at the mercy of tiebreakers (with four other AFC teams in contention). A victory against the Eagles, and the Broncos can determine their own destiny in the final game, with the woeful Chiefs.

The Broncos really don't want to play on the road against a 10-4 team today. They'd rather be home against some bogus team with a losing record. Oh, really? How did that work out last Sunday?

It is well to remember, though, that the Eagles lost in Oakland, and in San Diego, and the Broncos won in both places. The Broncos have won four games on the road this season, and the Eagles have lost twice at home - once to the Cowboys. Guess who beat the Cowboys? Yes.

The Broncos have won in Philadelphia, 33-7 . . . uh, in 1986.

And there is the Curse of A.I. (Allen Iverson) and A.A. (Andy Ashby).

Nobody thought the Broncos would win in Indianapolis in 2003. But they finished with 465 total yards, including 227 yards from backup running back Quentin Griffin, and gained a wild card, while the Colts failed to clinch a first-round bye. Ben Hamilton, who played for the Broncos then, and Brandon Stokley, who was a member of the Colts then, should give an arousing pregame speech and explain what occurred that day.

If the Broncos win against the Eagles, the sins of Josh McDaniels, Kyle Orton, Knowshon Moreno, the offensive line, and the defensive line will be forgiven. If the Broncos win, the slide of November and December (six defeats in eight games) will be forgotten. If there's a victory, the forlorn Horsemen can ride again to a 10-6 record and a spot in the playoffs this day.

Contact Denver Post columnist Woody Paige at 303-954-1095 or wpaige@denverpost.com.