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How it Happened: Broncos 34, Raiders 14

Posted Dec 29, 2013

A recap of the Broncos' Week 17 win at Oakland.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- In one half, quarterback Peyton Manning set a new NFL record for single-season passing yards, extended his single-season touchdown record and put the Oakland Raiders away in the process.

The 31-0 halftime lead at O.co Coliseum led to a 34-14 win that secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs for Denver.

"We had back-to-back 13-3 seasons. We did end the season as the first seed in the playoffs. We’ll get to be at home in Denver," Head Coach John Fox said. "Now it’s just a matter of getting prepared during this bye week and getting ready for this playoff season.”

The Broncos also set a new single-season team record for points scored in a season.

"It’s something I’ll never forget," running back Montee Ball said of the record-setting regular season. "It’s a blessing, because we’ve got some great chemistry on this team. For us all to be a part of this is special for everyone. It’s great.”

At halftime, the Broncos had outgained the Raiders 315 yards to 55 yards, earned 21 first downs to Oakland's four, converted on six-of-seven third downs and won the time-of-possession battle by more than five minutes. Denver didn't punt, scoring on all five of its first-half drives.

Manning finished the day 25-of-28 for 266 yards, four touchdowns -- two of which went to Demaryius Thomas -- and zero interceptions, good for a quarterback rating of 145.8.

“It was nice to get the lead in this game. We got off to a hot start," Manning said. "Our red-zone scoring was good. And then Demaryius Thomas’ long play was really important, kind of set the tone for the day in my opinion."

Thomas grabbed all six of his catches for 113 yards and two scores -- including a 63-yarder -- before halftime.

Brock Osweiler handled quarterback duties for the entire second half, completing 9-of-13 passes for 85 yards and a quarterback rating of 87.0. He led the team on a field-goal drive in the fourth quarter.

"I thought – the way it worked out – the first half was about as good in all three phases as we’ve been all year," Fox said. "It allowed us to get some guys out of the game and rest them not to risk injury – and still take care of business on the field.”

After the defense forced a three-and-out to open the game, Denver's first drive spanned 12 plays and traveled 71 yards, capped by a 3-yard Eric Decker touchdown reception.

Defensive tackle Sylvester Williams fell on a fumbled Raiders snap on the first play of the ensuing drive to give the ball back to the Broncos, and four plays later Manning found Knowshon Moreno for a 4-yard touchdown.

A 34-yard Matt Prater field goal, 63-yard touchdown bomb from Manning to Thomas and 5-yard scoring strike from Manning to Thomas, which gave the quarterback the passing yardage record and extended his NFL record to 55 touchdowns this year, closed out Denver's first-half scoring.

“I’m going to remember this when I’m old," Thomas said of catching the record-breaker.

Prater's second field goal in the fourth quarter made it 34 points for the Broncos, though the Raiders avoided a shutout with two late scores -- a touchdown pass from Terrelle Pryor to Rod Streater, then another to Nick Kasa after an onside kick recovery.

The Broncos finish the regular season with a 13-3 record and now move into the postseason as the AFC's No. 1 seed.

"Everybody’s 0-0 now," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "There’s 12 total teams in this thing. We’re one of them. We’ve just got to make sure that we’re the one that comes out on top in the end.”