Broncos tight end Julius Thomas (80) catches a pass for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Broncos Hot Reads: Win Over Texans Clinches West

The Broncos went on the road to Houston on Sunday and came away with a 37-13 over the reeling Texans. This game was close for the first three quarters before the Broncos outscored the Texans 21-0 in the 4th Quarter to pull away. Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win and he broke the record for most passing touchdowns in a single season. In the spirit of the holidays I’m going to keep everything positive this week and talk about two things I liked and what’s next instead of bringing up what I didn’t like.

What I Liked

Manning Setting the Record

Manning has been having a great year so far and he is arguably having the best season for a quarterback ever. Manning entered Sunday with 47 touchdowns for the season, which was 3 shy of Tom Brady’s record of 50 touchdowns. Manning tosses 4 touchdowns on Sunday to break the record and give him 51 for the season. He already has the record and still has one more week to go in the regular season. He is also within striking distance of most passing yards in a season and most completions in a season. Manning is having a MVP caliber year and the Broncos need him to continue competing at that level throughout the playoffs to have success.

Clinching the West

The Broncos win Sunday, combined with the Chiefs loss, earned the Broncos the AFC West crown for the third straight year. The Broncos now know that they will have at least one home game in the playoffs. The win also clinched the Broncos a first round bye. The bye will help to get players like Wes Welker, Derek Wolfe, and Champ Bailey fully healthy for a playoff run. The only thing the Broncos have not clinched is the number one seed in the AFC. The Patriots won on Sunday to stay one game behind the Broncos for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

What’s Next

Broncos at Raiders

The Broncos close out the regular season with a trip to Oakland. This game does not have significant playoff implications like a lot of other games do, but it could affect who has home-field advantage in the AFC. The Broncos need to win to get home-field advantage in the AFC but if they lose and New England wins the Broncos will be the 2 seed and New England would have home-field advantage.

The Broncos and Raiders kickoff at 2:25 p.m. MST on Sunday.

Happy Holidays!

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