The Titans wouldn't have it any other way.
Veteran linebacker Keith Bulluck and the Tennessee Titans are eying their first division crown since 2002.
"We're kind of in the driver's seat," defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said Monday. "We can control what happens to us postseason-wise. We don't have to look around, hope other teams lose. All we have to do is take care of what's in front of us. The first step toward getting into the postseason would be winning this week."
The Titans enjoyed a long weekend off after beating Detroit 47-10 on Thanksgiving to improve to 11-1. They're not due back until Tuesday, but coach Jeff Fisher said a handful of players came in over the weekend and again on Monday to work out on their own.
Clinching the division with a win against the Browns (4-8) would be a nice change for a franchise that had to beat the Colts in last year's regular-season finale to reach the playoffs after missing out on the postseason in 2006.
"You kind of start to look forward, but you can't look past this week," Vanden Bosch said. "We haven't clinched a playoff spot. We haven't even clinched our division. We have to keep winning. But a win this week would be huge and would be a huge step toward any postseason possibilities."
The Titans will return from their mini-bye still holding a two-game lead with four to play in the chase for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Tennessee leads Pittsburgh (9-3) and the New York Jets (8-4) in the conference standings.
The Titans' schedule is a bit easier with the Browns forced to give Ken Dorsey his first start at quarterback since 2005 when he was with San Francisco, then a trip to Houston (4-8).
Fisher isn't taking any opponent lightly, and he ticked off reasons to be wary of Cleveland, including a physical defense that ranks ninth in the NFL in points allowed. The Titans beat Dorsey while the quarterback was with San Francisco in 2005, and Fisher said he saw a player who knew how to execute the Browns' offense in their 10-6 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday.
Asked if he was being too complimentary of Dorsey for two incompletions and an interception, Fisher said no.
"He knew exactly where to go with the football. He saw the play. When you're getting rushed by the Colts at the end of third-and-20, you have to have a chance to make a play. I've seen many quarterbacks on fourth-and-20 take a sack or throw the ball away. He gave them a chance to make a play so I'm being very realistic, not complimentary," Fisher said.
The Titans also will be ready if Browns receiver and returner Joshua Cribbs takes some snaps at quarterback.
"You have to expect and anticipate that they're going to put him in unique situations, situations other than your standard, conventional quarterback position," Fisher said. "So we anticipate that and prepare for it."
If the Titans think they can overlook the Browns, Fisher is only too happy to remind them of what happened over the weekend when 10 of 12 visiting teams won around the NFL.
"A lot of unique things happen. So all you can do is control this next week, and that's what this week is about," Fisher said.