Denver Broncos Clinch AFC West Title


Dec 22, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is congratulated by teammates after throwing a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The touchdown pass set an NFL record for touchdown passes in a season. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos would clinch the AFC West Division Title Sunday afternoon and a first-round bye in the play-offs after defeating the Houston Texans, 37-13. It is the third-straight year the Broncos have won the AFC West Title, led by head coach John Fox. The Broncos would however receive a scare as linebacker Von Miller went down with a knee injury after Denver’s second series on defense. Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas would have a  huge game for the Denver Broncos. Decker would be targeted 17 times, catching 10 passes for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Thomas was targeted 14 times, hauling in 8 passes for 123 yards adding 1 touchdown. The Kansas City Chiefs would also help the Denver Broncos clinch the division as they lost to the Colts at Arrowhead Stadium, 23-7.

Peyton Manning would have a record-breaking day, throwing for his 51st touchdown of the season claiming the NFL record surpassing Tom Brady‘s previous record of 50 set back in 2007. Before the game, Manning was sitting at 47 touchdown passes, as the 37-year-old connected for four times in the game with two going to Eric Decker, and one each to Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas. Next week in the season finale however, Manning will have a chance to break another single-season record set by Drew Brees for passing yards in a season. Peyton Manning has a career-high 5,211 yards passing this season, third in NFL history. He will only need to pass for 265 yards next week against Oakland to set the NFL record set back in 2011.

The Broncos did however struggle on third-downs Sunday afternoon, only going 2-of-11, 18.1% percent. But the offense would continue to perform well, netting 511 yards on 70 plays, an average of 7.3 yards per play. Knowshon Moreno would be limited in the run game only getting 11 attempts but made the most of it accumulating 76 yards on the ground. Sylvester Williams has started to get some increased playing time due to the injury to Kevin Vickerson and the absence of Derek Wolfe. In the past two weeks, Williams has accounted for 10 combined tackles, 8 total, and 2 sacks.

Newly signed Jeremy Mincey would get some action today as the defensive lineman out of the University of Florida would account for one tackle. Champ Bailey made his return back after battling a foot injury since the preseason. Mike Adams and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would pick up interceptions on quarterback Matt Schaub.

The Denver Broncos (12-3) will travel to Oakland to face the Raiders in the 2013 regular season finale in week 17.