2012 NFL schedule: Broncos host the Browns in Week 16

USA TODAY Sports

With the AFC West locked up, Denver looks to stay in contention for a first-round bye

The NFL schedule-makers did the Denver Broncos a huge favor this season. By front-loading all the best teams in the first five weeks while Peyton Manning was adjusting to a new system, the Broncos have been coasting through an easy schedule since. While last Sunday's 34-17 defeat of Baltimore wasn't over an easy opponent, their upcoming games (at home, no less) against the Browns and Chiefs have the Broncos thinking 13 wins and a first-round bye.

Manning has been superb in his first season back after a series neck surgeries sidelined him for all of 2011. The future Hall of Fame QB has 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions this season, making fantasy studs out of wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. If the Broncos win out, Denver will host a playoff game in the Divisional Round.

Even with the Redskins ending their three-game winning streak on Sunday, the Browns still have a chance to notch their highest win total since 2007. That Browns team won 10 games, but the team has failed to win six or more games in every season since. Rookie Brandon Weeden is second among rookies in the NFL in passing yards and is tied with Russell Wilson for least sacks taken by a rookie. Yes, I'm grasping at straws, but we're talking about the Browns here.

Here's the rest of the NFL schedule for Week 16:

Saturday, December 22

Sunday, December 23
For the full NFL schedule, check out SI.com. Head over to SB Nation's NFL hub for coverage and analysis of Week 16. And for more on the Cowboys, dawdle over to Mile High Report.

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