The AFC might have been taken over by the Denver Broncos these past two weekends. The Broncos have won nine straight and capped that streak by beating the Baltimore Ravens convincingly in Baltimore 34-17 in Week 15. The AFC’s No. 1 seed, the Houston Texans, and No. 2 seed, the New England Patriots, both seriously struggled in at least one game over the last two weeks.
The Texans got smoked by the Patriots a week ago 42-14 and the Patriots got off to a very sluggish start in a 41-34 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Broncos now hold the No. 2 seed in the AFC and have the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs in the last two weeks, both at home. The Broncos should win both and seal the No. 2 seed and receive home field advantage until they potentially meet the Texans in the conference title game. It’s very unlikely that the Texans lose their last two games, but if they do and Denver wins both of its final two, then the Broncos would clinch the No. 1 seed.
The Broncos proved that they should be considered the team to beat in the AFC by handling the Ravens with ease. The Broncos controlled the game from start to finish by running the ball with Knowshon Moreno at will and receiver Eric Decker took advantage of the Ravens having to stop the run by getting open deep for a couple of big plays.
There wasn’t a bigger play than the one made by Broncos cornerback Chris Harris just when the Ravens were starting to build some momentum. It was 10-0 Denver late in the first half when Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco looked to throw an out route on first and goal to receiver Anquan Boldin at the Denver 4-yard line. Harris stepped in front of it and took it back for 98 yards for a touchdown, which is the longest in Broncos’ history. The play set the tone for the rest of the day as the Broncos finished the game with a 34-17 route of the Ravens.
“You come to the Ravens’ house and beat them handily, it’s definitely a statement game,” Harris said. “We definitely wanted to show to everybody that we’re an elite team.”
That is exactly what the Broncos did and from this point on you can bet everyone around the league will speak of the Broncos as one of, if not the, team to beat.
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