Something that the Denver Broncos now control with two games remaining on their 16 game schedule. Last week, that was a different story. Yes, the Broncos had already wrapped up their division. And yes, they were already headed to the playoffs. But when it came to getting that first round bye, they needed some help, and they got it.
With the Patriots nail-biting loss to the 49ers last week, the Broncos can now obtain that first round bye with wins in their final two games against the Browns and Chiefs. They can even wrap it up this weekend with a win and a Patriots loss, but the Pats won’t be losing to the lowly-Jags. But the Broncos can inch that much closer to becoming couch-potatoes for the first round of the playoffs, this weekend against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns come into this game off a loss to the hot Washington Redskins, and are 5-9 on the year. The 22nd defense overall allowed 38 points against the Redskins that were without RG3, and on the road. The Browns turned the ball over twice and were outscored 28-7 in the second half. Trent Richardson was held in check and only gained 28 yards on 11 carries, and Brandon Weeden went 21-35 with a TD and two interceptions. The Browns are playing for pride, and for head coach Pat Shurmur’s job.
They will have a tough time playing for either as they come into Mile High to face a red hot Denver Broncos squad. Last week against Baltimore in the 34-17 win (and it wasn’t even that close) Denver went up 17-0 at the half and never looked back. Knowshon Moreno ran for 118 yards and Chris Harris had a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown, which was the longest in Broncos history. The Broncos look to extend their winning streak to double-digits when they take on Cleveland, and all signs point to them being able to do so. Look for the Broncos to establish the run just like they have ever since Knowshon has come into the fold, and look for the Denver defense to take advantage of rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, as he has 17 interceptions on the year.
Expect the Browns to seem like they’re in the game early, but the Broncos should take over rather quickly and the Broncos will inch closer to that first-round bye.
GAME PREDICTION: Broncos 34, Browns 16