ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Broncos’ 38-3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs marked multiple milestones for the club.
The win secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC Playoffs and home-field advantage, and the Broncos’ regular-season record of 13-3 is the best since the 1998 team went 14-2.
Sunday was also a big day for Head Coach John Fox, who earned his 100th victory as a head coach in the NFL. Denver’s 13-3 finish also represents the best record of Fox’s coaching career. Just after locking up win No. 100, Fox was in good spirits about the accomplishment, but was quick to explain that it’s not something he achieved by himself.
“It is an accomplishment but it’s something of a lot of people’s work,” Fox said. “It wasn’t one guy. I have a great staff. I have been with great players and it is a proud mark.”
With an 8-8 regular season in 2011, which was good enough for the AFC West Championship and a playoff berth, followed by this season’s success, Fox has made the Broncos’ 4-12 campaign in 2010 a distant memory. With back-to-back AFC West titles in his first two seasons in Denver, Fox is just the 10th coach since the NFL merger to accomplish that feat. He has also become only the third coach to take over a team with a losing record and lead it to consecutive division championships.
“Well, I think No. 1, it starts at the top,” Fox said. “You look at (Owner) Pat Bowlen and his career as owner of the Denver Broncos, he’s amassed an unbelievable record. That doesn’t just fall out of the sky. (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) John (Elway) coming back into the organization and his background, just his commitment to being successful, it didn’t matter what that was, whether it was football or business, so I knew what kind of competitor he was.”
It’s the second time in his career that Fox has helped a franchise follow a losing season with a big improvement early in his head coaching tenure, as he helped the Carolina Panthers go 7-9 in his first year at the helm, six games better than the team finished in its last season before his arrival.
“It’s a lot of people with a commitment to work hard to make it happen,” Fox said. “It’s just not the head coach. It’s everybody. You’ve got players, coaches, assistant coaches—it’s a big commitment, it’s not just a little bit of an interest, it’s a commitment to being World Champs. We’ve been working on it for two years and we get that opportunity again to get in the tournament and see what happens.”
But Fox remains more concerned with his team’s near future than the history he has made to this point in his career.
“I think three more would make it even better,” Fox said.