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Next Day Notebook: A Merry Christmas Eve

Posted Dec 24, 2012

Riding a 10-game win streak, the Broncos are enjoying their holiday season.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There is plenty to be merry about at the Broncos' Dove Valley headquarters on Christmas Eve.

The team is coming off its 10th straight win on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, tying for the second-longest winning streak in team history. It controls its own destiny for a first-round bye in the playoffs and also has a chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout.

Peyton Manning became the only quarterback in NFL history to own nine 12-win seasons and John Fox has a chance to win his 100th game as a head coach next Sunday.

When Fox sat down with media on Monday, he talked about all of the elements that have come together to produce a 12-3 season through 16 weeks.

"First of all, the players have to buy in," Fox said. "We've accomplished that to a degree. Whether we can maintain it or not is yet to be seen. This is a 'what have you done for me lately' league. Our guys understand that there's great parity in our league. Everybody's got players, they all practice and get paid. The old adage, I know it's a cliché, but on any given Sunday, you look around the league, there's evidence of it every week. We don't look at the records; we look at the tape."

Maintaining that mentality, Fox said no players and coaches will look ahead to potential playoff matchups until the Week 17 game against Kansas City is over. Winning their 13th game is the next and only priority.

"I think what's really important is that win this week against Kansas City," Fox said. "We're not done with the regular season yet. The completion of Sunday, everything will be formed up and then we'll start that next season."

MILE-HIGH MVP?

In addition to discussing the team's success in 2012, Fox also talked about his quarterback's success. He provided his thoughts on the MVP race which Manning is right in the thick of.

"I might be a little biased," Fox said. "With all due respect for everybody involved, I think what's unique about Peyton, not that he's had a fabulous year - which he has - but he's done it in a new city with a new team and I think at that position, my own personal opinion, that's what kind of separates him from the rest of the field."

Monday's game was another strong performance from Manning, who was nominated for FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week. The quarterback continued to pepper his name throughout the NFL record books, as he tied Brett Favre for the most games with at least three passing touchdowns (72) and extended his own NFL record with another 300-yard game (79, including postseason).

To demonstrate Manning's work ethic that has gone hand-in-hand with success, Fox shared a brief story.

"He has it down to a science as far as time management in an NFL season," Fox said. "I saw him in the cool tub watching his iPad. Someone asked me if I was concerned about the iPad. No, I don't care about the iPad. I care about him. Don't want him to get electrocuted. Anyway, it's remarkable how he works."

FOX ON MILESTONE

While the head coach spoke candidly about the achievements of his team and players, when he was asked about a personal accomplishment he is nearing, he wasn't as long-winded. He simply shared the credit with all those who have been a part it.

With a win in Week 17, Fox can become the seventh active coach to reach 100 career wins.

A win would also give the Broncos the best record of Fox's coaching career - 13-3.

"It's not one guy," Fox said. "There are a lot of efforts and I appreciate all those efforts. A lot of different assistant coaches, owners, general managers, players, you name it. We're just trying to worry about this week."