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ENVE Peyton Manning figured one onehanded catch deserved another.
So, up the ladder he went — throwing the ball high in the back of the end zone to Demaryius Thomas.
Thomas leaped and brought it down with his right hand, then got both feet down inside the line for a touchdown. With that, he joined Eric Decker in Denver’s one-handed-touchdown club Sunday and gave the Broncos some otherworldly highlights to go with their home-field advantage throughout the playoffs after a 38-3 runaway over the Kansas City Chiefs.
“They claim they can do that all the time,” said cornerback Champ Bailey. “They say they practice that. I don’t see it. But as long as they do it on Sunday, I’m all for it. Those are some great, hard-working boys and I expect nothing less.”
Manning, in search of his fifth MVP award and a second Super Bowl title, finished 23 for 29 for 304 yards, three scores and a 144.8 passer rating.
Manning was out of his game by the fourth quarter.
“I threw it OK today, I guess,” said Manning, who finished the season with 4,659 yards, 37 touchdowns and a 105.8 passer rating, all second best in his 15-year career.
Thanks to Houston’s 28-16 loss to Indianapolis, Denver (13-3) will be the top seed for the sixth time. The Broncos made the Super Bowl four of the previous five times.
Though the Chiefs (2-14) gave the Broncos a tussle during their 11-game winning streak — in a 17-9 loss last month — this wasn’t expected to be close. It wasn’t.