December 30, 2012
DENVER — Boy, that Peyton Manning sure knows how to throw a party, huh?
Thanks to their MVP-worthy quarterback — and another helping hand from his former team — the Denver Broncos will let the good times roll in the comforts of Colorado.
Denver's 38-3 rout of Kansas City on Sunday felt more like a day-early New Year’s bash. Sports Authority Field erupted when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Houston Texans, and giddy fans danced in the aisles all the way through Denver’s 11th straight win.
That fortuitous combination awarded the Broncos (13-3) the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Broncos won’t leave home unless it’s for a trip to Manning’s hometown, New Orleans, for the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
"I truly feel like there is a 12th-man advantage here,” said Manning, who passed for 304 yards and three touchdowns.
Denver opens the playoffs on Jan. 12 (2:30 p.m., CBS). The opponent will be determined next weekend during the wild card round. The Broncos get the lowest seed to advance — No. 4 Baltimore (10-6), No. 5 Indianapolis (11-5) or No. 6 Cincinnati (10-6).
The last time Denver entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed — in 1998 — the Broncos beat the Dolphins, Jets and Falcons and won their second Super Bowl title.
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