2015 Broncos Season, Week 17


We're the top seed in the AFC! This is a day for celebration. Come tomorrow, it's back to work. Two more wins to get to the Super Bowl.

Week 17: Broncos 27, San Diego Chargers 20
Season Record: 12-4 (6-2 Home)
Key Play: In the third quarter, trailing 13-7, the Broncos made a change at quarterback, bringing in Peyton Manning off the bench to replace Brock Osweiler. Manning led the Broncos on a touchdown drive, and scored on four of five drives he was in the game to help the Broncos come up with the crucial win.

Recap: One of the amusing things about going to games at Sports Authority Field is all the unauthorized sellers outside the stadium. My favorite was a guy who sells shirts that say Peyton F***ing Manning on them. I think it's meant to be a compliment to his greatness. That's what I first thought of yesterday when Manning came in during the third quarter and saved the game — helping the Broncos get the No. 1 seed in the AFC. After an up-and-down season, it all came down to a game with the Chargers. The Broncos had stumbled earlier in the month with losses to the Raiders and the Steelers, seemingly falling out of contention for the top spot in the AFC. But as the Patriots wilted Sunday, the Broncos came through and, thanks to owning all the tie breakers, the team sits atop the heap in the AFC. That's where we want to be heading into the playoffs. The road to Super Bowl 50 goes through Denver, and we wouldn't have it any other way. And, as a bonus, Peyton Manning looks like he is back. I'm pumped to see how this team can do in the playoffs.

Game Balls:
* Peyton Manning. Manning was 5-for-9 for 69 yards. That isn't incredible, but it wasn't about his stats. It was about his poise and the way he ran the offense.
* Ronnie Hillman and CJ Anderson. Anderson and Hillman split 30 carries and went for 212 yards and two touchdowns. It was a great performance from the backs who carried the offense.
* Demaryius Thomas. Thomas five catches fro 117 yards and a touchdown, making a 72-yard score work all on his own.
*Shiloh Keo. Keo hasn't been a Bronco long, but his INT helped the team get the winning score Sunday.

Lingering Concerns:
* Health. The Broncos are getting healthier at the right time, which is good. The team needs all its pieces to make a title run.
* Quarterback Controversy. Osweiler couldn't make the offense go yesterday, presiding over five turnovers. If Manning is healthy enough, he should start. I think it's time for this to be Manning's team again.

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