Denver Broncos: AFC No. 1 Seed
With their 11th consecutive win, a 38-3 blowout of the Kansas City Chiefs, and a Houston Texans loss in Indianapolis, the Denver Broncos enter the playoffs as the number one AFC seed. The AFC road to Super Bowl XLVII will run through Mile High Stadium in Denver.
With the Broncos leading 35-3 after the third quarter, Peyton Manning and the rest of his offensive machine took a well-deserved seat and watched Brock Osweiler direct the offense in the fourth quarter.
However, the real losers today were the Houston Texans. Their 28-16 loss to the Colts, coupled with wins by Denver and New England, dropped them to the third seed. Instead of having a first-round bye, the Texans will be hosting a playoff game next weekend against Cincinnati. The other game next weekend will match the Baltimore Ravens against the Indianapolis Colts.
Not only did the Broncos win, but they also suffered no major injuries. With a two-week rest before the next game and the potential return by running back Willis McGahee for the AFC championship game, the Broncos will enter the playoffs healthy and well rested. The Denver Broncos are the hottest team in the NFL and have now become a 7-2 odds favorite in Las Vegas.
The real story today was the Broncos’ offensive and defensive dominance. Manning threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns on 23/29 passing. Both Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas had big days. Decker caught two touchdowns on seven receptions for 76 yards. Thomas had 122 receiving yards on seven receptions and one touchdown.
The defense held the hapless Chiefs to only three points, added four sacks and limited them to only 119 total yards. In addition to the sacks, the defense had nine tackles for losses. It’s been said that defense wins championships and the Broncos are primed to win one this year.
Hans Benes is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at HBenes@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.