Peyton Manning put in a full day’s work on Sunday. He just crammed it all into the first half, giving the Denver Broncos a 31-0 halftime lead and taking the rest of the day off as the team cruised to a 34-14 win over the Oakland Raiders.
Manning needed 266 yards to eclipse the single-season yardage record previously held by Drew Brees. The Broncos needed a victory to fend off the New England Patriots for the number one overall seed in the AFC. To lock up both, Manning went 25-for-28 for 266 yards and four touchdowns in the first two quarters. He then conceded to back-up quarterback Brock Osweiler, who put things in cruise control and got the Broncos through the final couple quarters.
Demaryius Thomas was Manning’s star receiver, snaring six catches for 113 and two touchdowns. Monte Ball and seldom-used Ronnie Hillman did the bulk of the work for Denver in the rushing game (10 and 12 carries, respectively), providing Knowshon Moreno with a bit of a breather going into the playoffs.
On Oakland’s side of things, Terrelle Pryor played fine. He threw for 207 yards and two TDs while pitching in 49 yards on the ground. In essence, this game came down to the fact that Oakland’s defense was overwhelmed from the start, making the second half of this game little more than a nationally televised scrimmage.
All in all, it was an appropriately dominant ending to the season for Manning and the Broncos (for good measure, they also broke the single season record). Now it’s onto the playoffs and a chance to redeem themselves after an early exit last year.