In a game that they needed to win, the Denver Broncos displayed the tenacity not to fold to a “trap” game that could have left them feeling glum for the holidays. Instead, with a little help from the Minnesota Vikings who beat the Houston Texans earlier in the day, the Broncos now have a chance at the number one seed and home field throughout the playoffs with their 10th straight victory.
In all reality, the Cleveland Browns were merely a bump in the road that the Broncos navigated easily in their 34-12 win on Sunday. Peyton Manning did not even have to complete a pass in the fourth quarter, and he was still able to post 3TDs against 1INT and 339 yards on the day. Knowshon Moreno recorded 127 total yards from scrimmage, Von Miller had 1.5 sacks and joined with Elvis Dumervil in knocking Browns QB Brandon Weeden out of the game – the Broncos merely coasted in another complete game.
The Browns did not sack Manning once, while the Broncos got to the opposing QB – either Weeden or Colt McCoy – 6 times, and kept constant pressure throughout the game. WRs Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker combined for 167 yards and 3TDs, while the Denver offensive game plan was executed perfectly.
Now, all the Broncos need to do is handle their business in week 17 at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, who played them very tough in their last meeting. A win, coupled with an Indianapolis Colts win against the Texans, would give the Broncos their ultimate goal: home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
While Manning and Miller solidified their cases for NFL MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, all eyes instead will be on next week’s game against the Chiefs. The Broncos will know just where they stand in the seeding before their game, as the Texans play a 1:00 game in Indianapolis. While both teams are already in the playoffs, the Colts will want to go into the second season with a little momentum, and what better way to gain it than playing their division rival full-bore.
So as the Broncos gain a bit of an early Christmas present from the Vikings, and the “other” MVP-candidate, Adrian Peterson, it is now time to complete their bid for best team in the NFL. Here’s hoping everyone has a very safe and Happy Holidays, and the Broncos are able to give themselves and their fans great joy in the New Year!
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