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The Denver Broncos’ hammer job of a 38-10 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday wasn’t o the national radar, but it was an important game for two big reasons:
1. It kept the Broncos (7-6) in the thick of the AFC playoff race.
2. It kept the lousy Lions from (1-11-1) from roaring too loudly one week after their lone victory. So yes, they still have the inside track on the No. 1 overall draft pick.
“No one feels bad for us,” Lions quarterback Jared Goff told reporters. “No one feels sorry for us, including ourselves. We went out here intending to win and came up short. Don’t care who was on the field. We had the guys that we believe in to win and made too many mistakes.”
Goff is wrong. There are actually some people who feel bad for this band of lovable losers.
Meanwhile, the Broncos have been getting it done lately with defense. And a team that has been largely ignored is still very much alive in the AFC West.
“If we’re going to get to where we want to get, it’s going to have to continue,” Denver coach Vic Fangio said of the defensive dominance.
Another test comes next week, as the Broncos square off with the Cincinnati Bengals, another 7-6 team with playoff dreams. It’s safe to say that the loser of that game will be on the outside looking in, barring a major run in their final three games.
As for the Lions, all they need to do is exactly what they’ve done — lose, and a lot. When you’re this bad, your greatest hope is next year. Or in the case of Detroit, probably a few more years after that.