DENVER - Denver Broncos Head Coach John Fox quoted the Wizard Of Oz in describing the team's excitement about playing their AFC Divisional Game at home.
"Theres an old movie I saw, you guys might not have been alive, but there's a line, 'There's no place like home,'" Fox joked with reporters who asked about the advantages of playing in Denver.
"I think everybody would like to play at home," Fox continued. "But you've still got to play well. That's the bottom line and that's our big task at hand right now."
This season, the Broncos won all but one game played at home. The one home loss, however, was to
Chargers -- the same opponent they'll face Sunday.
The Chargers dominated time of possession during that previous matchup, as the San Diego team is apt to do during most games.
"That's the way they're set up. To run the ball does use more time on the clock -- the clock doesn't stop as much. You know, so it's part of the way they play. It's a very effective way to play," Fox said about the Chargers.
To fight that strategy, Fox said his defense would be key.
"We've had a lot of improvement over the last couple of weeks defensively," he promised.
Quarterback Peyton Manning said the team was excited to be playing this game at home, but would need the support of the crowd to put the Chargers' offense off-balance.
"It'll be good to get back home. The fans will be excited and we'll need them in an important way. (We're) counting on them to be loud," he said.
Denver's players are also painfully aware of the parallel between this situation and the storyline from last season, where the Broncos were knocked out of the playoffs by a loss at home to the Baltimore Ravens.
"I think we've kind of used that throughout the season," Manning said. "We talked about that going into the month of April, with our weight lifting and off-season training, talking about using that to fuel you, to make you do an extra set."
"Last year we went on a little run there and I don't know if we got (too) comfortable, but we didn't 'finish,'" said wide receiver Eric Decker. "We are hungry this year as far as coming into the off season, coming into training camp. Making sure that when we go out and play we finish everything we do."
Said tight end Julius Thomas, "You gotta control your excitement. You can't put too much on your shoulders and think too far ahead and think about, 'Well this is a big moment, so I've got to do so much more.' You've got to keep doing the things you did to get here."