DENVER – The Denver Broncos clinched the AFC West with a win over the Tamp Bay Buccaneers Sunday.
The win is the seventh in a row for the Broncos.
Early in the game the Buccaneers proved to be a test for Denver’s defense, but the Broncos came back in the third with 21 unanswered points. The final score was 31-23.
Peyton Manning played a conservative fourth quarter, completing 5-of-8 passes for 38 yards. He finished the game with three touchdowns and a 103.2 rating.
Denver had an explosive third quarter, led primarily by Manning. He is now 22-of-30 on the day for 204 yards. He threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter, both to Demariyus Thomas, the first of which was as good an NFL throw as you’ll see.
Earlier in the quarter, faced with a 3rd-and-1 play, Manning looked like he had room to run for a first down but instead completing a pass to Knowshon Moreno, who was lying on the ground. This even prompted Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano to give Manning a slap on the helmet out of respect.
Manning’s only miscue was an interception made by rookie linebacker Lavonte David. Manning was trying to hit Jacob Tamme across the middle, but never saw the defender.