OAKLAND, Calif. -- In one half, quarterback
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
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
“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.
"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
“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