HOUSTON -- The Broncos are division champs.
For the third consecutive season, Denver has earned the AFC West crown, locking up a home playoff game in the process.
The team accomplished the feat Sunday with its win against the Houston Texans paired with Kansas City's loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
At 12-3, the Broncos currently sit in first place in the AFC playoff picture and have officially secured a first-round bye. A win next week at Oakland -- or a New England loss this afternoon in Baltimore or next week versus Buffalo -- would give Denver the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs for the second year in a row.
"You celebrate every victory you get in this league for 24 hours," defensive end Shaun Phillips
said. "A win or a loss, you celebrate or you mope for 24 hours. Then you move on and get ready for the next game. I mean, we played a good football team. Their record isn’t indicative of how good that team is. But that is a good football lteam. They were 12-4 last year or something. But that just goes to show you that you have to be on it week-in and week-out, and year-in and year-out.”
The win marks the 13th division title in franchise history -- the 11th since Owner and CEO Pat Bowlen bought the team -- and brings with it a first-round bye in the postseason.
The Broncos' first playoff game will come in the Divisional Round.
“We still haven’t clinched the one seed. We’ve clinched a bye, now we want to clinch that one seed and we’ll see where things fall – we can do that next week with a win," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said after the game. "So we just want to continue to build off this and continue to play our best football. We want to continue to play good and hopefully take it through the playoffs.”
Playoff tickets are not yet on sale. Check DenverBroncos.com in the coming days for more information.