Broncos smash records, earn rest
OAKLAND, Calif. — With one sterling half, Peyton Manning accomplished all he needed to in the finale by seizing another record and homefield advantage in the playoffs.
The Broncos quarterback set the league record for passing yards in a season and threw four first-half touchdowns as Denver routed Oakland to clinch the top playoff seed in the AFC.
The Broncos were nearly perfect in building a 31-0 halftime lead before coach John Fox gave Manning, who threw for 266 yards, and some other regulars the second half off to rest for the playoffs.
Manning broke Drew Brees' record of 5,476 yards set in 2011 — by a yard — and finished with a record 55 touchdown passes.
"The first half was about as good in all three phases as we've been all year," coach John Fox said.
Denver also became the highest-scoring team in league history with 606 points, eclipsing New England's mark of 589 set in 2007.