Even with a playoff spot already locked up, Denver showed no signs of slowing down.
The offense put up 26 points while the defense didn't let potential a handfull of big plays by Oakland steal the game's momentum. The defense made game-changing plays of its own, including an interception courtesy of cornerback
TURNING POINT: With a little more than five-and-a-half minutes left in the game, the Raiders pulled to within two possessions. But the Broncos offense didn't let Oakland touch the ball again thanks to three first downs picked up by running back
KEY STATISTIC: Moreno ran the ball a career-high 32 times for a game-high 119 yards.
QUOTABLE: "(Head) Coach (John) Fox says it all the time -- records and stats get thrown out the window this time of year because everybody has something to play for. We certainly had something to play for tonight and now we have eight (wins) in a row.”
Baltimore managed just one third-down conversion in the game as Denver charged to a 31-3 lead. In the first half, Baltimore had eight drives. Five ended in punts. Two ended in turnovers. The last ended with a kneel-down to send the game to halftime.
Two fourth-quarter Ravens scores threatened to make it interesting, but the Broncos offense put together a 15-play drive that took nearly 10 minutes of game time off the clock and resulted in a
TURNING POINT: With the Ravens threatening to jump back into the game before halftime, cornerback
KEY STATISTIC: The Denver defense held Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice to just 38 yards on 12 carries.
QUOTABLE: "To be able to come here and get a win like this against the Baltimore Ravens just doesn’t happen. I’m very proud of our team, the resilience we showed and the week of preparation we put in and how we worked this last week. To come in here and get this win, it’s big.”
A Phil Dawson field goal made it 7-3, but that was as close as the Browns would get. Manning hit
Cleveland found the end zone just once in a game that saw Miller break the franchise's single-season sack record.
TURNING POINT: Manning and the offense's second consecutive 80-yard, touchdown drive made the score 14-3 and negated any potential momentum the Browns gained from their early field goal.
KEY STATISTIC: Denver held Cleveland to just 233 total yards of offense and 3-of-12 on third down conversions in the game. The Broncos, meanwhile, racked up more than 450 yards and converted 60 percent of their third downs.
QUOTABLE: “It’s not about any other team that we’re facing. It’s about us, and I think that’s the mentality that we’ve approached these last few games (with). Ten wins in a row, we just have to keep on going and take it one week at a time."
After the defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive of the game, the offense answered with an eight-play drive that was capped by a 3-yard Moreno touchdown run.
By the fourth quarter, the Broncos had a 35-3 lead and Manning's work was done after throwing for more than 300 yards with three touchdowns. Rookie quarterback
With the win, Denver locked up the AFC's No. 1 seed for the playoffs.
TURNING POINT: Denver was well on its way to victory, but when Thomas leaped for a ball that originally looked like it was heading out of bounds and snared it with one hand for a touchdown, the rout was on at 28-3. And Thomas had locked up arguably the catch of the year.
KEY STATISTIC: The defense held Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles -- who rushed for 226 yards the previous week and topped 100 yards against the Broncos in Week 12 -- to just 53 yards on the ground.
QUOTABLE: "This was a big win today. We swept the division for the first time … since 1998. That's a neat thing for this particular team to be able to do."
-Quarterback Peyton Manning
First, the Broncos took a 7-0 lead thanks to a 90-yard punt return by
But with 31 seconds left in the game, the Ravens knotted the game at 35-35 and sent it to overtime. An interception by Manning in the second overtime period led to a 47-yard, game-winning field goal for Baltimore, sending the Broncos home for the 2012 campaign. The Ravens went on to win Super Bowl XLVII.
TURNING POINT: With 41 seconds left and the clock ticking, Flacco fired downfield to Jacoby Jones, who hauled in a 70-yard touchdown to force overtime. After it looked like the Broncos had the game all but wrapped up, the Ravens kept the contest alive and eventually came away with the win in double overtime.
KEY STATISTIC: Holliday became the first player in NFL history to return both a kickoff and a punt for a score in the same playoff game thanks to his 104-yard kickoff return score and 90-yard punt return touchdown.
QUOTABLE: "I had dreams of confetti. I’m still going to continue to have those dreams. Now I have a better understanding of what it takes to get there. ... We’ll remember this, and be better next year."
-Linebacker Von Miller