4:25 PM ET, December 29, 2013
O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
OAKLAND, Calif. -- With one sterling half, Peyton Manning accomplished all he needed to in the regular-season finale by seizing another prestigious record and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
He knows his next time out probably won't be so easy.
More Broncos-Raiders coverage
The Broncos broke more offensive records Sunday en route to a 13-3 season. Which leaves Denver right where it was last year before an unlikely loss to the Ravens in the playoffs, writes Jeff Legwold. Story
As the Raiders finished their second straight 4-12 season, second-year coach Dennis Allen says he deserves to come back. And now the waiting game begins, writes Paul Gutierrez. Story
• SportsNation: Will Records Stand?
Manning set the NFL single-season record for yards passing and threw four first-half touchdown passes to clinch the top seed in the AFC playoffs for the Broncos with a 34-14 victory over Oakland on Sunday.
"This was a good game today," Manning said. "We needed this win. We needed to improve on some things. The coaches challenged us in a couple of areas and I think we responded to those challenges."
The Broncos (13-3) were nearly perfect in building a 31-0 halftime lead before coach John Fox gave Manning and some other regulars the second half off to rest for the first playoff game two weeks from now in Denver.
Manning threw touchdown passes to Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno in the first quarter and added two to Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter. He broke Drew Brees' record of 5,476 yards set in 2011 with a 5-yard pass to Thomas with 13 seconds left in the half to make it 31-0.
That ended Manning's day having completed 25 of 28 passes for 266 yards. He finished the season with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes.
"The first half was about as good in all three phases as we've been all year," coach John Fox said. "It allowed us to get some guys out of the game and rest them and still take care of business on the field."
The Raiders (4-12) ended their 11th straight non-winning season with six consecutive losses and big questions about the future of second-year coach Dennis Allen. Oakland has won eight games in Allen's two seasons but after showing signs of progress early this season, regressed down the stretch to put his job in jeopardy.
Allen said he expects to meet in the next few days with general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis to discuss the future of the organization.
"That's a decision that's made over my head," Allen said. "I fully expect to be back. I fully believe that I deserve the opportunity to come back here and get a chance to go through the reconstruction phase. I want to be part of the rebuilding phase."
The Raiders, who allowed the second most points in franchise history, were completely exposed by Manning. He frequently targeted fill-in cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, who started for the injured Mike Jenkins.
The Broncos forced a punt on the opening possession and then easily drove down the field. Manning completed eight of nine passes for 70 yards on the 12-play drive, capping it with a 3-yard pass to Decker.
A bad snap by Stefen Wisniewski on the first play of the next drive set up a 7-yard TD pass to Moreno and the rout was on.
Oakland held Manning to a field goal early in the second quarter before he beat them deep with a 63-yard pass to Thomas to make it 24-0 and then methodically led a late drive down field that was capped with the short throw to Thomas that broke Brees' record and earned Manning some rest in the second half.
"I feel like it's a record every other week," Thomas said. "It's great to be a part of, to get it. We just have to sit back and talk about it but our main goal is to win the Super Bowl. It's a good accomplishment for our offense. The main thing now is being able to win."
Brock Osweiler played the entire second half in his most extensive action of his two-year career. He completed 9 for 13 passes for 85 yards but only led Denver to one field goal
The decision to go back to Terrelle Pryor at starting quarterback after six games with Matt McGloin failed to provide the spark Allen had been seeking. Pryor looked rusty in his return to the lineup, missing receivers and having little room to run on read-option plays and scrambles.
Pryor completed 21 of 38 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns after the game was out of reach. Pryor also ran for 49 yards to give him 576 yards rushing for the season, breaking Rich Gannon's franchise mark of 529 for quarterbacks set in 2000.
"I would say I'm inconsistent," Pryor said. "Period. I got to get better."
The Raiders couldn't even capitalize on their one good chance as Sebastian Janikowski missed his ninth field goal of the season after blocked punt by Jamize Olawale gave Oakland the ball at the Denver 24.
Broncos S Duke Ihenacho left the game with a concussion. ... The Raiders had about 45 members of the 1983 team that won the Super Bowl on hand for a halftime ceremony.
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 29: Head Coach John Fox of the Denver Broncos looks on during pre-game warm ups prior to...(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||6.3||4.3|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||3-4||1-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|TD||7:11||Eric Decker 3 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 71 yds, 5:54
|TD||5:45||Knowshon Moreno 7 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 21 yds, 1:14
|FG||12:42||Matt Prater 34 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 11 plays, 49 yds, 4:48
|TD||5:46||Demaryius Thomas 63 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 2:39
|TD||0:18||Demaryius Thomas 5 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 89 yds, 3:13
|FG||6:41||Matt Prater 54 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 7 plays, 24 yds, 2:57
|TD||4:30||Rod Streater 14 Yard Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Sebastian Janikowski Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 4 yds, 1:11
|TD||0:46||Nick Kasa 9 Yard Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Sebastian Janikowski Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 75 yds, 2:36
Assuming he is done, Peyton Manning was 25-28 (89.3%) vs the Raiders, his highest completion percentage in a game in his career with at least 10 attempts.
In both games against the Raiders this season, Peyton Manning did not throw an incomplete pass due to an under- or overthrown ball. Only one other quarterback did that in a game when attempting at least 25 passes (Nick Foles, Week 16 vs Bears).[+]
Peyton Manning Pass Results vs Raiders This Season
Peyton Manning posted a 95.4 Total QBR against the Raiders, his 4th game with a Total QBR greater than 95.0 this season, most in the NFL. Manning finished this season with a Total QBR of 82.9, his 4th season with a Total QBR greater than 80.0 since 2006 (as far back as we have data). The rest of the league's quarterbacks have combined to post 4 such seasons during that span (min. 500 action plays).[+]
All 28 of Peyton Manning's pass attempts in the first half were on target.
ESPN Stats & Information