In a year of "normalcy" — John Fox's description — the coach's objective is a 12-4 record, which would be the Broncos' best since a 13-3 mark in 2005.
He divided the season into quadrants.
"We wanted to be 3-1 in each," Fox says.
The Broncos are 5-3 halfway through 2012.
"We are one (victory) behind," he says.
The Broncos can catch up to the sly Fox's pace by winning the next four games (the third quadrant) — and finishing the final quadrant 3-1.
The Broncos' remaining seven opponents after Sunday's games, when they go 2-3, will be a combined 23-40. How can I be so certain? Four of the Broncos' future foes play each other: San Diego is at Tampa Bay, and Oakland is at Baltimore. Kansas City is at Pittsburgh, and the hapless Chiefs, who the Broncos play twice, won't win and will fall to 1-8. Cleveland has a bye, so the hopeless Browns can't lose.
Fox's regular-season goal is quite attainable. "But we have to focus on what's right in front of us," Fox says.
Carolina is right smack ahead Sunday.
It has been reported locally and nationally all week that Fox seeks resentful, rancorous "REVENGE!" against the Panthers because he was let go Dec. 31, 2010, after serving as the team's head coach for nine seasons — including one in the Super Bowl.
The truth was obvious during my one-on-one interview with Fox on Thursday. He holds no grudges and actually would thank owner Jerry Richardson for not renewing his contract. The circumstances had become stale for Fox in Charlotte, N.C. It was time for a change. There were overtures from Cleveland and Buffalo. The Eagles wanted him as a consultant, but Fox was intent on taking a year off from football.
Yet, suddenly, he became the coach of the Broncos, and "I couldn't be in a better situation. It's a perfect fit — working with John (Elway) and in this organization, and living in Denver and coaching the teamwe have."
Last year, the most unusual Fox has experienced in 33 years of coaching, he won the division and a playoff game. Look at the Broncos now — with Peyton Manning, reunited with Fox's old assistants (including Jack Del Rio and Mike McCoy), the No. 3 overall offense in the league and the 10th-rated defense, according to NFL.com. "There is normalcy this year," Fox told me.
I pointed out to Fox that he already has defeated two teams he coached with as an assistant — the Steelers and the Chargers. "Don't forget the Raiders," he said.
A win over Carolina would make him 4-0 against former teams, leaving only the Giants. That achievement only could happen in the Super Bowl.
Read more: Paige: Panthers another step on Broncos Fox trot to 12 wins - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/paige/ci_2...#ixzz2Bv0WAgUy