The Denver Broncos are in control of the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
Yet Denver coach John Fox is not celebrating, nor he is going to allow his team to relax after the Broncos won their ninth consecutive game Sunday, a 34-17 thumping at Baltimore, to improve to 11-3. Later Sunday night, New England lost at home to San Francisco and fell to 10-4. If the Broncos win their two final games, at home against Cleveland and Kansas City, or if they win once and New England loses once, the Broncos will get the No. 2 seed.
Still, Fox knows the Broncos’ goals have not been met.
“Right now, I know we can control our own destiny, but if we don’t play our best game against Cleveland this week, that will be all for naught,” Fox said. "So all our focus will be on the Cleveland Browns, a team that’s won three out of four games, plus-7 in the turnover margin, beat two teams that are in the hunt on the AFC side for the playoffs -- so all our focus will be on this week against the Cleveland Browns.”
In other words, don’t expect a letdown by the Broncos in the final two weeks.
In other AFC West news:
Fox said return man Trindon Holliday will remain in his role, but there's no doubt Holliday needs to improve. He nearly lost two punts Sunday. Holliday is a high reward-high risk player who could really help -- or really hurt -- Denver in the postseason. He has returned a kick and a punt for scores since the Broncos claimed him in October.
After Week 15, the Chiefs remain on pace for the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, Oakland remains on pace for the No. 3 despite winning its fourth game and San Diego moved up to the No. 7 slot from being on pace for the No. 9 pick.