For the first time in six years, the Denver Broncos showed up to work yesterday knowing that the playoffs were out of reach.
With snow still piled high on the sidelines, they went through a 90-minute practice on a sun-splashed field, giving no hint they had been eliminated from the postseason puzzle.
The last time the 6-and-8 Broncos were in such a position was in 2001, when they finished 8-and-8.
The Broncos' new goal is to win at San Diego on Monday night, then beat Minnesota at home on December 30th.
That would allow them to avoid their first losing season since stumbling to a 6-and-10 finish in 1999 -- after winning back-to-back Super Bowls.
That was the only time in Shanahan's 13-year tenure that the Broncos finished below .500