ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- When things weren't clicking at the beginning of the season, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos spent most of their time looking at the film and working out the kinks on the practice field -- and very little time focusing on the standings.
The work is paying off, and if they bothered to look at those standings Monday, they would've liked what they saw.
After their runaway win over Baltimore and New England's loss to San Francisco, the Broncos are the No. 2 seed in the AFC and only need victories at home over Cleveland and Kansas City, combined record 7-21, to wrap up a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Eight of the 10 AFC teams to make the Super Bowl under the current playoff format have had a first-round bye.