an­nin en er capt re top C seed

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - A

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.

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