With playoff spot secured, Broncos aim for bye week in finale

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When it comes to the Denver Broncos and potential playoff positioning, the issue is not a complicated one.

"I always think, win as many games as you can and then it takes care of itself," Broncos linebacker Von Miller said. "So, if we win a lot you have to worry less."

Indeed, the Broncos have already earned a playoff spot with last Monday's win over the Cincinnati Bengals. But when Denver closes out the regular season Sunday against the San Diego Chargers (4-11) in Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the Broncos can earn something they want almost as much -- a playoff bye.

"It's crucial," cornerback Aqib Talib said. "We have guys banged up on offense and defense. Guys are banged up. That extra week of rest would work wonders for us. Playing in front of our home crowd would be nice, too."

The Broncos (11-4) are currently in the No. 2 spot in the AFC's playoff seeding. They would guarantee themselves the No. 2 spot with a win Sunday since the Bengals are also 11-4. They would also clinch their fifth consecutive AFC West title with a win.

A loss Sunday, coupled with a Bengals win, would mean the Broncos would play in the wild-card round. That would also be the case should the Broncos lose to the Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. As a wild card, the Broncos would not only lose the bye but also be on the road the first week of the postseason.

"We have a lot to play for," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said. "Everybody in here knows that. We want home games, we want a bye, we want the best position we can be in."

The Broncos also have an outside chance at the AFC's No. 1 seed. Because of their Nov. 29 win over the New England Patriots, the Broncos could win Sunday and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if the Miami Dolphins (5-10) upset the Patriots.

The Broncos will likely take the field Sunday with knowledge of at least some of what's on the table. While the Chiefs play, as the Broncos do, at 4:25 p.m.ET, the Patriots and Bengals all play at 1 p.m. ET.

"We just worry about us," Miller said. "We have goals, things on defense we want -- we're one sack ahead of New England for the lead -- we want the W, we want to play a great game and go into the playoffs with all kinds of momentum."