2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Denver Broncos Game Recaps

By The Associated Press
    2014-01-23 09:46

Game 1
BRONCOS 49, RAVENS 27

DENVER (AP) -Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos waited eight long months to get the season started.

A record-tying seven touchdown passes - something no one had done in 44 years - made it worth the while.

Connecting with his most prized addition, Wes Welker, former college basketball player Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas for two TDs each, Manning directed Denver to a 49-27 victory over the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the NFL opener.

Manning was the sixth QB in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game and the first since Joe Kapp did it for Minnesota against Baltimore on Sept. 28, 1969.

Manning was 27 of 42 for 462 yards with seven TDs and no interceptions.

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Game 2
BRONCOS 41, GIANTS 23

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Peyton Manning again beat younger brother Eli, throwing two touchdown passes in leading the Denver Broncos past the New York Giants 41-23.

The older Manning is 3-0 in the NFL against his sibling, with the other two victories coming when Peyton was with the Colts. He got this win with a huge boost from Knowshon Moreno, who rushed for two touchdowns and 93 yards. Denver (2-0), which has won 13 straight regular-season games, rushed for 109 yards altogether.

The Giants (0-2) were charitable again with three more turnovers after they had six in last's week loss. They also allowed Trindon Holliday's spectacular 81-yard punt return for a touchdown, the first such score in the league this season.

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Game 3
BRONCOS 37, RAIDERS 21

DENVER (AP) - Peyton Manning threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns to lift the Denver Broncos to another easy victory, 37-21 over the Oakland Raiders.

The Broncos (3-0) have outscored opponents 127-71 this season.

Manning hit Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas for a score apiece.

The quarterback's 12 TD passes are an NFL record for the opening three games, breaking Tom Brady's mark of 11 in 2011. Manning has yet to throw an interception this year.

Oakland's Terrelle Pryor finished 19 for 28 for 281 yards but played catch-up from the start. Oakland (1-2) trailed 17-0 before Pryor hit Denarius Moore for a 73-yard score.

Four plays later, Manning connected with Thomas for a 13-yard score to push the lead back to 17.

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Game 4
BRONCOS 52, EAGLES 20

DENVER (AP) - Peyton Manning made quick work of the Philadelphia Eagles in a warp-speed game between the NFL's top two offenses. Denver scored more points than they ever had in their 54-year history, blowing out the Eagles 52-20 behind Manning's four touchdown throws and two special teams scores.

With two TD passes each to Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker, Manning completed all but a half dozen of his 34 throws for 327 yards.

Manning's 16 TD passes were the most in the first month of a season, besting the previous mark of 14 set by Don Meredith in 1966 and tied by Kurt Warner in 1999. Manning also joined Milt Plum in 1960 as the only quarterbacks to throw that many touchdown passes without an interception.

The Broncos' two TDs on special teams came on Trindon Holliday 's 105-yard kickoff return and Steven Johnson's blocked punt, which he scooped up himself and returned for a 17-yard score.

Matt Prater's 53-yard field goal capped Denver's 15th straight regular-season win, which bested the franchise mark of 14 set in 1997-98 and also broke the previous franchise scoring record of 50 points set against San Diego on Oct. 6, 1963.

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Game 5
BRONCOS 51, COWBOYS 48

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Matt Prater kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired and Peyton Manning and Denver overcame the first 500-yard passing game in Dallas history to keep the Broncos unbeaten with a 51-48 victory over the Cowboys.

Manning maintained his record pace of touchdown passes to start the season and finished with 414 yards and four scores for Denver (5-0).

Tony Romo threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns for Dallas (2-3), but he was intercepted by Danny Trevanthan inside the Dallas 30 to set up Prater's winning kick.

The teams combined for 1,039 yards of total offense was the second-highest scoring game in regulation since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

Cincinnati and Cleveland combined for 106 points in the Browns' 58-48 win in 2004.

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Game 6
BRONCOS 35, JAGUARS 19

DENVER (AP) - Peyton Manning threw for two scores and Knowshon Moreno ran for three to lead Denver to a tougher-than-expected victory over winless Jacksonville.

The Broncos (6-0) came in as 27-point favorites, and much of the pregame hype centered on whether they'd cover the spread and when Manning would come out of the game.

Neither happened.

Manning finished 28 for 42 for 295 yards, but lost two fumbles and threw a pick-6 - a 59-yard interception return by Paul Posluszny that pulled the Jaguars (0-6) within 14-12 at halftime.

It was a two-point game late in the third quarter, before Moreno scored his last touchdown, an 8-yard run, for a 28-19 lead. Moreno finished with 42 yards.

Justin Blackmon had 14 catches for 190 yards for Jacksonville.

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Game 7
COLTS 39, BRONCOS 33

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, outplaying predecessor Peyton Manning in a 39-33 victory over the previously unbeaten Denver Broncos.

The victory ended the Broncos' 17-game regular-season winning streak in the first game Manning played against his former team since being released in March 2012.

Manning finished 29 of 49 for 386 yards with three TDs and one interception. He was sacked four times and tried desperately to rally the Broncos late.

But the Colts (5-2) took advantage of his and Denver's uncharacteristic mistakes.

Luck converted an early fumble into a TD pass. Indy got nine points out of a second-quarter strip sack, and Luck scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter, a drive helped by a series of defensive penalties. When the Broncos (6-1) finally had a chance to tie it, Manning was intercepted.

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Game 8
BRONCOS 45, REDSKINS 21

DENVER (AP) - Peyton Manning overcame four turnovers and Denver scored the last 38 points against former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and his new team. Manning finished with 354 yards and four touchdown passes to offset his three interceptions and lost fumble.

His first two turnovers led to points that gave the Redskins (2-5) a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter. From there, Manning led the Broncos (7-1) on two long scoring drives, then the go-ahead score on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Knowshon Moreno.

Robert Griffin III finished with 132 yards passing, one score and two interceptions for Washington before hurting his left knee.

Griffin's replacement, Kirk Cousins, threw an interception that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned 75 yards for Denver's final points.

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Game 9
BRONCOS 28, CHARGERS 20

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Peyton Manning threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, three to Demaryius Thomas, as he efficiently led the Broncos in their first game since coach John Fox had heart surgery.

With interim coach Jack Del Rio in charge, Manning kept the Broncos (8-1) rolling. He threw touchdown passes of 11, 7 and 34 yards to Thomas on consecutive drives spanning the second and third quarters.

Julius Thomas had a 74-yard catch-and-run on Denver's first drive.

The Broncos' scoring drives lasted 57 seconds; 2 minutes, 27 seconds; 1:25; and 3:26.

Manning has thrown for 3,249 yards and 33 touchdowns in nine games. San Diego fell to 4-5.

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Game 10
BRONCOS 27, CHIEFS 17

DENVER (AP) - Peyton Manning went virtually untouched by Kansas City's sack-happy defense, throwing for 323 yards and a touchdown to lead the Denver Broncos to a 27-17 victory over the NFL's last undefeated team.

The Chiefs, who came into the game with a league-leading 36 sacks, barely breathed on Manning, who finished 24 for 40.

The Broncos tied Kansas City at 9-1 atop the AFC West with a rematch set in two weeks.

Denver fell short of its league-leading average of 41.2 points but the Chiefs, who came in allowing a NFL-low 12.8 per game, couldn't keep up.

Alex Smith threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns for Kansas City, which hadn't lost since a 38-3 setback in Denver last December to close out a 2-14 season.

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Game 11
PATRIOTS 34, BRONCOS 31, OT

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal for New England after a misplayed punt return by Denver, lifting the Patriots to a 34-31 overtime victory over the Broncos.

Denver's Tony Carter ran into Ryan Allen's punt after it landed and Nate Ebner recovered for New England at the Broncos 13-yard line. After Tom Brady ran twice to line up the kick, Gostkowski connected for his 21st successful field goal attempt.

Brady threw for three touchdowns to lead the Patriots (8-3) back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to a 31-24 lead as New England scored on its first five possessions of the second half. Then Peyton Manning threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Demaryius Thomas for the Broncos (9-2), tying it at 31.

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Game 12
BRONCOS 35, CHIEFS 28

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Peyton Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns, four to Eric Decker, and the Denver Broncos held off a furious rally to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-28 and seize control of the AFC West.

Decker had eight catches for a career-high 174 yards for the Broncos (10-2), who moved a game clear of the Chiefs (9-3) in the division.

Jamaal Charles had 93 yards rushing for the Chiefs, and capped a 17-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:32 left in the game to close within a touchdown.

After forcing a punt with 3:32 remaining, Kansas City used three long pass plays to move deep into Broncos territory. But Alex Smith's pass to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone on fourth-and-4 with 1:45 left fell incomplete.

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Game 13
BRONCOS 51, TITANS 28

DENVER (AP) - Unbothered by the freezing weather, Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal and Peyton Manning threw four more touchdown passes, lifting the Denver Broncos to a 51-28 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

The temperature was 14 degrees when Prater kicked his record setter to close the first half and pull Denver within 21-20.

Manning opened the third quarter by leading the Broncos on a pair of touchdown drives, and the Broncos (11-2) easily wrapped up a playoff spot.

Denver's quarterback set a franchise record with 39 completions and finished with 397 yards.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 172 yards for the Titans (5-8), who went 73 yards in five plays to score on the game's first drive and led 21-10 in the middle of the second quarter.

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Game 14
CHARGERS 27, BRONCOS 20

DENVER (AP) - Phillip Rivers outplayed Peyton Manning and the San Diego Chargers sprung a 27-20 upset over the Denver Broncos.

Rivers threw for 166 yards and two scores to Keenan Allen and kept the Chargers' offense on the field for nearly 39 minutes.

Stuck on the sideline most of the night, Manning ended up with 289 yards and only two touchdowns. The Broncos (11-3) fell at home in the regular season for the first time in 14 games.

The Chargers (7-7) snapped Denver's 10-game AFC West winning streak and stayed in the hunt for a playoff spot.

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Game 15
BRONCOS 37, TEXANS 13

HOUSTON (AP) - Peyton Manning regained his NFL record for touchdown passes with 51 and the Denver Broncos clinched the AFC West.

Manning threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the fourth quarter to surpass the 50 TD passes Tom Brady threw in 2007. Manning led the Broncos (12-3) to a 37-13 win over the Texans (2-13) that extended Houston's franchise-record skid to 13 games.

Manning did it on a 25-yard pass to Julius Thomas with 4:28 remaining. Just 2 1/2 minutes earlier, he tied the mark with a 20-yard pass to Eric Decker.

He entered the game with 47 and his first touchdown came on a 36-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter, and the second one was a 10-yard throw to Decker earlier in the fourth period.

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Game 16
BRONCOS 34, RAIDERS 14

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Peyton Manning set the NFL single-season record for yards passing and threw four first-half touchdown passes to help the Denver Broncos clinch the top seed in the AFC playoffs with a win over the Oakland Raiders.

Manning needed just one half to add the yards record to the touchdown mark he set last week. He threw touchdown passes to Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno in the first quarter and added two to Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter.

Manning broke Drew Brees' record of 5,476 yards set in 2011 with a 5-yard pass to Thomas with 13 seconds left in the half to make it 31-0. That ended Manning's day having completed 25 of 28 passes for 266 yards. He finished the season with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes.

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Divisional Playoffs
BRONCOS 24, CHARGERS 17

DENVER (AP) - Peyton Manning welcomed Wes Welker back into the lineup with a touchdown toss and the Denver Broncos narrowly avoided a repeat of their playoff slip from last year, advancing to the AFC championship game with a 24-17 win over the San Diego Chargers.

The Broncos (14-3) controlled the game for 3 1/2 quarters before Philip Rivers capitalized on an injury to cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to stage a comeback reminiscent of Baltimore's shocking win at Denver exactly a year earlier.

This time, however, Manning rescued the Broncos from the brink of another crushing collapse and sent them into the title game for the first time in eight seasons.

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AFC Championship
BRONCOS 26, PATRIOTS 16

DENVER (AP) - Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl after a 26-16 victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Manning threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns to lead Denver to its first trip to the NFL title game in 15 years.

It marked the next big step for Manning on a comeback from multiple neck surgeries that almost ended his career.

He led the Broncos on a pair of 7-plus-minute touchdown drives, the second of which gave Denver a 20-3 lead.

Manning improved to 5-10 lifetime against Brady but is now 2-1 in the AFC title games.

The Patriots (13-5) got only 64 yards rushing and most of Brady's 277 yards came after New England had fallen behind by 20.

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