8:45 PM EST, December 30, 2012
DENVER, Colo. -- The Broncos locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs in a game that cinched the Kansas City Chiefs' hold on the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2013.
Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns as the Broncos rolled to their 11th consecutive victory by beating the Chiefs 38-3 Sunday, claiming a first-round bye and home-field in the conference playoffs.
The Broncos (13-3), riding the second-longest winning streak in franchise history, moved into the conference's top seeding after the Houston Texans were defeated earlier 28-16 by the Indianapolis Colts, Manning's former team.
Manning completed 23 of 29 for 304 yards in three quarters of play with touchdown passes of 11 and 16 yards to Eric Decker and 13 yards to Demaryius Thomas in the regular-season finale. It was the 73rd game in Manning's career with three or more touchdown passes, breaking a tie with Brett Favre for most in NFL history.
With the game in hand after Lance Ball's 1-yard touchdown run gave Denver a 32-point edge, Manning was lifted at the start of the fourth quarter in favor of Brock Osweiler, who the game.
His Kansas City counterpart, Brady Quinn, endured a rough outing, taking four sacks and failing to get the Chiefs into the end zone. Quinn completed 7 of 16 for 49 yards as the Chiefs (2-14) finished with a fourth straight loss in what could be Romeo Crennel's last game as Kansas City's coach.
Kansas City, which went 0-6 against its AFC West rivals, secured the top pick in the NFL draft, getting it on tie-breakers with Jacksonville, which also finished a league-worst 2-14.
After the Broncos defense got a stop on the Chiefs with successive sacks of Quinn by Derek Wolfe and Rahim Moore, Manning, operating out of the no-huddle, took over at midfield and quickly moved to Denver within striking distance.
With the Broncos at the Chiefs' 16-yard line and 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Manning and Decker teamed up for their second scoring pass of the game as the receiver latched on to another precision pass from his quarterback with an over-the-shoulder catch for a 21-3 halftime lead.
Earlier in the second period, Manning finished off another long drive from the 11-yard line with his first touchdown pass to Decker, who burst past two defenders in the end zone to come open over the middle.
The scoring drive by Denver began at the Chiefs' 24-yard line after Ryan Succop missed a 33-yard field goal try wide left. He had gotten the Chiefs on the scoreboard by converting a 23-yarder earlier.
Setting the tone for another ragged showing, Kansas City's offense started off with a three-and-out.
The Broncos, meanwhile, finished off their opening possession with a 3-yard touchdown run by Knowshon Moreno, the second consecutive week that they had reached the end zone during their first series.
NOTES: The Broncos won a team-record 13 in a row during their Super Bowl run in 1998. ... Denver finished AFC West play 6-0, the second time in team history it had swept it division opponents. ... Manning also set team records for most yards passing in a season (4,659) and most completions (400). In both cases, he surpassed Jay Cutler (4,526 yards passing and 384, in 2008). ... Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles finished with 1,509 yards rushing, the third player in the team's history to reach the milestone. ... The Chiefs were out-gained 277-89 in the first half. ... Chiefs left tackle Donald Stephenson, who started in place of the injured Branden Albert (back), left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. Stephenson was replaced by John Allen. ... Return specialist Trindon Holliday (ankle) was among the Broncos' inactive players. Jim Leonhard and Omar Bolden stepped in to replace him.