Manning leads Broncos to top slot
Peyton Manning set the NFL single-season yards record and threw four touchdown passes on Sunday as the Denver Broncos secured the top seed in the AFC play-offs with a 34-14 triumph over the Oakland Raiders.
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The 37-year-old completed the regular season with 5,477 yards - breaking Drew Brees' 2011 mark of 5,476 yards with a five-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas at the end of the second quarter to make it 31-0 - and 55 touchdown passes.
The win meant the Broncos finished 13-3 and guaranteed home-field advantage in the play-offs.
The Raiders (4-12) ended their 11th straight non-winning season with six straight losses and big questions about the future of second-year coach Dennis Allen. Oakland has won eight games in Allen's two seasons but after showing signs of progress early this season, regressed down the stretch to put his job in jeopardy.
The Raiders, who allowed the second most points in franchise history, were completely exposed by Manning. He frequently targeted fill-in cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, who started for the injured Mike Jenkins.
The Broncos forced a punt on the opening possession and then easily drove down the field. Manning completed eight of nine passes for 70 yards on the 12-play drive, capping it with a 3-yard pass to Decker.
A bad snap by Stefen Wisniewski on the first play of the next drive set up a 7-yard TD pass to Moreno and the rout was on.
Oakland held Manning to a field goal early in the second quarter before he beat them deep with a 63-yard pass to Thomas to make it 24-0 and then methodically led a late drive down field that was capped with the short throw to Thomas that broke Brees' record and earned Manning some rest in the second half.
Brock Osweiler played the entire second half in his most extensive action of his two-year career. He completed 9 for 13 passes for 85 yards but only led Denver to one field goal The decision to go back to Terrelle Pryor at starting quarterback after six games with Matt McGloin failed to provide the spark Allen had been seeking. Pryor looked rusty in his return to the lineup, missing receivers and having little room to run on read-option plays and scrambles.
Pryor completed 21 of 38 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns after the game was out of reach. Pryor also ran for 49 yards to give him 576 yards rushing for the season, breaking Rich Gannon's franchise mark of 529 for quarterbacks set in 2000.
The Raiders couldn't even capitalize on their one good chance as Sebastian Janikowski missed his ninth field goal of the season after blocked punt by Jamize Olawale gave Oakland the ball at the Denver 24.